Sunday, November 8, 2015

Reviving Miss Nancy

Miss Nancy of Romper Room
Ah, education!

Your pendulum swings with such force from one "fresh" ideology to another but the only things that are new again are the superficial wrapping and arbitrary labels.

This past go 'round was particularly ugly.  The last few years have been virtually joyless, abusive and heartbreaking for teachers. Thankfully, that is changing.  At least in my little corner of the world.

Our school is returning to the Teachers College Columbia University Reading and Writing Project for literacy development.  Their curriculum actually teaches children how to read and write in a developmentally appropriate manner.  

It is such a pleasure to receive educational guidance from folks who know how children learn. This is a great departure from curricula developed by test makers posing as educators.  We'll be dealing with the damage they caused for many, many years (I am looking at you Pearson!)

The one drawback is the way the literacy coaches from the Reading and Writing Project teach and interact with students.  They all seem to be emulating the over-the-top style of 1960s Romper Room television hosts welcoming children or peering through the Magic Mirror.

I am not sure why the coaches all seem programmed with a robotic Stepford Wives computer chip of congeniality but I'll take maniacal smiles over disapproving scowls any day.

Don't be surprised if you walk by my room one day and catch me muttering,

Romper, stomper, bomper boo.
Tell me, tell me, tell me, do. 
Magic Mirror, tell me today,
Did all my friends have fun at play?


37paddington said...

Omg, memories! I had no idea how indelible that rhyme was until I read it here with the intonations going full tilt in my head. I'm glad to hear the curriculum is changing for the better!

Lisa Burman said...

Oh I'm laughing Gary! I call this "Patsy Bisco Teaching" after a children's television presenter here in Australia in the 60s and 70s. I do have a soft-spot for Romper Room though. (Yes, we had it here in OZ too). I was actually ON Romper Room as a four year old and named my sister after our Miss Michele!!! (she doesn't like to tell too many people that).

Gary said...

37 - Yes, this will be playing in my head for a while now too. I think I really will try it out and see how it goes. If nothing else, it'll make me giggle.

Lisa - I too have a soft spot for Romper Room. We used to listen for our names every week. I LOVE that you were on it! Have you ever tried to do a bit of research to find a copy of the program? I would love to see that!

Lisa Burman said...

I've looked a little for a copy of that episode - mostly on YouTube etc. Maybe I should contact the television production company...if it still exists!

Gary said...

Lisa - If you find it, you know I want to see it!


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