“Children who eat with their families have stronger vocabularies than those who do not. They do better in school.”
That quote comes from a short NYTimes Sunday Magazine article that appeared today. It’s a great article, and one that doesn’t surprise me. It did get me to think about all the school reform efforts and studies underway to try to link student performance to teacher pay.
Of course I wouldn’t be a teacher if I didn’t think I could contribute somewhat to a child’s academic and social development. I play, however, only a small part in that development. Too many other factors such as genetics, family life, affluence, the influence of different teachers, and many others also contribute. All of those things are beyond my control. As a classroom teacher, the students I have see me for one academic school year. They may, however, see the same amazing subject specialist for 6 years. How does one go about creating comparable metrics on something like that? It’s an interesting question, but one that is too complex for me to even consider. Do I really want my paycheck linked to whether or not a child eats dinner together with his or her family? I don’t think so.