Fish In Trees?


It is so important that we recognise the strengths in our kids and not just focus on their challenges.

This cartoon demonstrates the difficulty that is experienced for those who do not ‘fit the mould’. Our children are assessed and compared using standardised testing like NAPLAN. For those who may struggle with reading, writing and numeracy but have strengths in areas other than those tested, the results of this testing may make them feel inferior, and in some cases ‘dumb’.

Let’s celebrate our kids’ strengths. We are raising children who have incredible talents in art, music, engineering, science, technology or sport to name a few, but might struggle with literacy and numeracy. Each child’s strengths should be celebrated and you won’t have to look far to find them. Their creativity, imagination and spirit are all incredible and unique, but we don’t test for them. Just ask Richard Branson, one of the world’s richest men. He’s dyslexic and proud of it!

Because of the way we test our students, these kids are made to feel like they do not measure up and this begins to impact on their self-esteem. They are compared to other students in standardised testing and are shown them how they compare. What must this do for their confidence?

I’ve been reading a book on this very topic and I love the way it explains this from a child’s perspective. Fish In A Tree’ by Lynda Mullaly Hunt has been a fascinating read and I thoroughly recommend it for every parent and educator.

Diversity is the spice of life. Let’s celebrate the diversity of all of our children, not just those who ‘fit the mould’.

Sue - Reading Connections