The Treehorn Express
An Ordinary Classroom
It’s an ordinary Australian classroom of, say, Year 3s, aged between 7 and 8 years of age. Treated as special young human beings in most other modern cultures, where they start formal, mainstream schooling at the same age [7 years], we start preparing them for a life of testing and pressure for the next nine years of schooling.
Why not ? It’s a tough world that they have to face, we reckon…….as if they didn’t know.
Fellow carers in various other professions, who indulge in statistics, tell us that the average class of 30 primary school kids, when they arrive at the school door each day, will contain….
- 10 who have had some sort of major trauma already in their lives.
- 6 who have been the victim of domestic violence.
- 7 who have been the victim of sexual violence.
- 3 who are very poor.
- 12 who have an identifiable learning difficulty.
- 10 who have not spoken to any adult, except their teacher, during the past 24 hours.
- 30 who just want some love and consideration; and help in their quest to learn things that will be important for them.
So….. we hit them at Year 3 with NAPLAN practice tests that the big end of town wants them to do; and pressure them to get better at tests of things that many will eventually hate, for four months of each school year. Great help. We are in accord about this, aren’t we ? Doesn’t make teaching any easier, does it