Saturday, October 13, 2007

What's up with the soft reviews?

This morning my kids and I went to the park and met a friend. "I read your blog," she said, "Why aren't your reviews more critical?"

On tours, I notice a lot that's wrong. We all do. We hear a child say a naughty word in a class or we observe a teacher who looks worn and tired or we walk across a bleak school yard that's an endless stretch of asphalt. One mom told me she saw two teachers getting into an argument; others have talked about out-of-control, disengaged students. It's easy to criticize, and we're all familiar with the negative.

This blog is about finding the good. I figure every school has something it's doing right—whether it's stocking a library with new books, keeping class sizes small, going on tons of field trips, immersing the kids in another language, renovating the playground. I'm digging for the good. We're all going on these tours and hoping that we'll connect with something—an animated principal, a teacher singing songs with kids, a group of students tending to an organic garden—and I'm hoping I can help direct parents to the bright spots.

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