Monday, 8 August 2011

How Do You Feel About Streaming Your Students?

I was talking to my aunt the other day about the issue of streaming students in our local primary schools. (She's a retired teacher, by the way). I have always felt that streaming should be the way to go and after our discussion, I feel even more strongly about my conviction.

Now, I am aware of the fact that streaming does put a 'label' on students, yes this is true.  And because of this, it should be done in a tactful manner so that the classes are not overtly labelled as 'The A Class' or 'The C Class'.  Many schools simply use the name of the class teacher or her name initials to identify the class.  This is what I prefer for my class.  And also, if the classes within a school are being streamed, this knowledge should be kept confidential and should only be shared among the teachers and the principal.  Parents often ask me questions like 'Mrs. Martin, is my child in the 'A' class?' or 'Is your class the 'A' class?'  I try to show the parents that the philosophy of the school and the Ministry of Education is that children develop at their own pace and that streaming puts a pressure on them to feel like education is a competition which has winners and losers and that this can directly affect their self esteem, etc.

So, as far as the parents and students are concerned, they do not have to be troubled by the negatives of streaming.  However, we the teachers in the school, have our classes arranged in such a way that the students who need remedial math and reading are in a class that teaches at a pace that is right for them both as a class, and as individuals because this class is smaller in number and it has more teachers per student than the other classes!. Of course, if all of the classes had such ideal conditions, then that would be great but we make the best of our reality.  The bulk of our resources are given to the classes that need it the most.

2 comments:

Mrs. Mommy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nat said...

Sorry I respectfully disagree. Streaming does not work. Our school tried it. It did not work. The students to catch on to the fact that the classes are streamed and so do the parents. This led to low self esteem amongst the lower ability classes and apathetic attitudes in the higher ability students. Teachers should be able to differentiate. Kids need role models in their class to model a higher standard.

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As a Caribbean primary school teacher, I share my unique classroom with the world through this blog. Readers step into my class through the pictures, articles and classroom samples of games and lessons used in my class. I have been teaching since 2005 at the std. 4 primary level in Trinidad and Tobago. I am particularly interested in sharing my own personal lesson plans, tests and activities. Teachers need to share ideas and support each other because in doing so, we help to educate our students and develop ourselves as teachers. Technology is ever evolving and we as teachers should get on board with it, collaborate and keep up to date with this new age that we live in. Our students belong to this technological era and we must embrace opportunities to learn from each other in this global community. I also love to express my creativity in the classroom. I am a bit of a craftster . So I'm always cutting, gluing or making something... a game, a chart, a learning center, etc. So, teachers and parents, feel free to stop by and see what's new at Nyla's Crafty Teaching!