The Three Rs

Reading

Writing

Arithmetic

Right? (I am not counting that R.) Years ago, a former State Superintendent of Oregon Schools stated that the traditional 3 Rs were being replaced with new Rs: Relationship, Relevance, and Rigor. The importance of those Rs became evident in my classroom.

Relevance: This R is a must. Readers read, writers write, mathematicians solve problems. I tried to create lessons and activities that had real world importance. Help kids see the connections.

Rigor: We want all schools to work on this R. In a classroom of 25 students, there is not one level of rigor, but 25.

Relationship: This R was the key for me. Every school year it took a month or two, but once I knew my students, things started to click. I knew each learning style, each individual’s abilities and disabilities, each personality, each child’s willingness to accept challenges.

Those 3 Rs are seeping into my retirement . . . another R! Yesterday I realized that tutoring 2 children together, impacts my Relationship with each child, and affects potential growth (Rigor). The most efficient use of my limited time is one to one. I can focus on one personality, one set of learning strengths and needs.

I fill my retirement days with classes, volunteering, joining new groups. Activities that I look forward to, want to keep doing, have a blend of my 3 Rs. For example, I love my exercise group. Exercise is Relevant (keeping me healthy), it is Rigorous (no explanation needed), and I have a bunch of new friends (Relationship).

Relationship, Relevance, and Rigor . . . if I feel them in an activity, I am finding I look forward to doing it more.

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