The Computer Teacher from the Black Lagoon

Day 64

“I made the kindergarteners cry,” said the computer teacher to me.  Apparently she was asked to teach them to log into our computer system.  However . . . to do so, one needs both a login and a password.  The login is the student’s first initial plus the student’s last name.

Keep in mind that these are five-year-olds.  A good number of them come to school not knowing their last names.  I have one girl who insists her last name is Grace (middle name).

Then, the student’s password is their seven-digit student ID number assigned by the state.  As the computer teacher told me, the first row of kids started crying, “I don’t know how to read! Boo-hoo-hoo,” and it just rolled right down the rows of computers.  I can only imagine the horror she felt, at the same time  as I chuckle, glad it wasn’t me!

This brings me to a relatively rare editorial statement as I end this post:  you can’t legislate children into doing things they are not developmentally ready to do.  I recently read this article:  Five-Year-Olds Put To the Test as Kindergarten Exams Gain Steam, in which our youngest students are given standardized tests “meant to determine whether 5-year-olds are on track to succeed in college and career.”  There’s a unit “to introduce 5-year-olds to algebraic thinking” — seriously, people?  How about we introduce them to letters, numbers, and forming a line first?

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