Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
Opinion
School Climate & Safety Letter to the Editor

Children Learn Best When They Are Respected, Happy

March 11, 2014 1 min read

To the Editor:

Reading Ann Evans de Bernard’s Commentary “When Is School Reform Not Reform?” (Feb. 5, 2014) once again returned me to the simplest of answers. And that is that children learn when they are happy!

Standards are pretty much useless—whether they are common-core, hard-core, or core-less—unless this basic element is addressed. And children are happy when their basic survival needs are met, when they are respected and cared for, when their natural and individual curiosities are piqued, and when they are not bored to tears with what is meaningless content followed by threatening and inappropriate testing galore.

It’s too bad that we don’t have many politicians from either major party who get this, and nary a wealthy philanthropist who understands it or will invest his or her vast resources in what would address any of it in a meaningful way. In fact, what these corporate types and their bought politicians are investing in will quite likely do more harm than good.

Bob Barkley

Worthington, Ohio

The author is a retired executive director of the Ohio Education Association and also served as the interim executive director of the Maine Education Association.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the March 12, 2014 edition of Education Week as Children Learn Best When They Are Respected, Happy

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Branding Matters. Learn From the Pros Why and How
Learn directly from the pros why K-12 branding and marketing matters, and how to do it effectively.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Join experts from Samsung and Boxlight to learn how to make learning more interactive from anywhere.
Content provided by Samsung
Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

BASE Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Director of Information Technology
Montpelier, Vermont
Washington Central UUSD
Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools
Director of Athletics
Farmington, Connecticut
Farmington Public Schools

Read Next

School Climate & Safety Opinion Teaching's 'New Normal'? There's Nothing Normal About the Constant Threat of Death
As the bizarre becomes ordinary, don't forget what's at stake for America's teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic, writes Justin Minkel.
4 min read
14Minkel IMG
Gremlin/E+
School Climate & Safety Letter to the Editor Invisibility to Inclusivity for LGBTQ Students
To the Editor:
I read with interest “The Essential Traits of a Positive School Climate” (Special Report: “Getting School Climate Right: A Guide for Principals,” Oct. 14, 2020). The EdWeek Research Center survey of principals and teachers provides interesting insight as to why there are still school climate issues for LGBTQ students.
1 min read
School Climate & Safety As Election 2020 Grinds On, Young Voters Stay Hooked
In states like Georgia, the push to empower the youth vote comes to fruition at a time when “every vote counts” is more than just a slogan.
6 min read
Young people celebrate the presidential election results in Atlanta. Early data on the 2020 turnout show a spike in youth voting, with Georgia, which faces a pair of senatorial runoffs, an epicenter of that trend.
Young people celebrate the presidential election results in Atlanta. Early data on the 2020 turnout show a spike in youth voting, with Georgia, which faces a pair of senatorial runoffs, an epicenter of that trend.
Brynn Anderson/AP
School Climate & Safety Opinion The Pandemic Is Raging. Here's How to Support Your Grieving Students
What do students who have experienced a loss need in the classroom? Brittany R. Collins digs into the science.
Brittany R. Collins
5 min read
13Collins IMG
Benjavisa Ruangvaree/iStock