Monday, November 13, 2006

Back to blogging

Finally back in the saddle after a nearly-two-week hiatus from blogging. Robert and I returned to the States for our 20-year reunion from graduate school. It was weird and wacky and head-spinningly wonderful. But all the soft-focus reminiscing and revelry made me fuzzy and vague when I returned. My edge was gone, for a minute --

[Section removed at the request of the Jakarta International School.]

This is a middle school English curriculum that I don't understand. That's not good for any parent -- but it's especially bad news for a parent who, before moving to Indonesia two years ago, taught 9th grade English literature at a large high school outside of Chicago. I know all too well what's coming down the track, and it looks like a train-wreck.

Luckily, my daughter reads voraciously on her own, loves to write because she thinks it's fun and challenging, and probably will survive any curriculum thrown her way. But I worry about the other kids -- both the ones who struggle, as well as the really gifted kids who languish. What happens to them?

So I'm getting back on the blog-horse. JIS' work to put the curriculum online is a good step, and I'm optimistic about the efforts and focus of our new adminstration. I think the school is making some great steps. But I'm wondering if we can't do more for the students right now. We don't have another year to wait for huge curricular holes to be plugged. Dialogue is good, and I'd love for someone to explain to me why I've got it all wrong. But until that day comes, I'll keep blogging away.


At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dialogue is a fantastic start. I am assuming here that you have already had dialogue with the English teacher about the curriculum.

At 8:53 AM, Blogger Cheryl van Tilburg said...

Thanks for your comment, Anonymous!

I think the curriculum situation at the middle school is larger than just my daughter's teacher; it affects all students in grades 6-8 (and beyond, I'd argue). So the dialogue I've had so far has been with the MS principal and head of the English program (last year, mostly on the writing program), and with the new Head of School this year.

Also, this blog is a way of encouraging a larger dialogue in a public forum. Curriculum issues are of interest to the entire JIS community, and there are many ways to engage in discussion. Maybe this is one way.

That being said, I appreciate your not-so-subtle hint that I keep the teacher in the loop. While he/she can't change the curriculum, you rightly point out that he/she's an important link. I'll drop the teacher a note today. Thanks for the common-sense reminder.

And thanks again for your comment.


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