I've noticed that some schools are already back in session. When I was a kid we never started until after Labor Day. Then when my children were in school they always began the last week of August but this is getting ridiculous
Of course its been a big debate for years, should we send them year round or keep it the way it is?
I'd imagine there are different motives involved on that particular discussion, some would say its to provide them more time to learn and then others would say its easier on the parents. I would ask, who does it benefit?
Of course its been a leading topic for years. How do we improve our education system in America? I can imagine its a big job, but I also believe that they have it all wrong.
I for one never had any motivation for school much after the elementary years and I could say the same applies for both my children, how about yours?
Have you ever heard the saying "reading, writing and rithmetic"?
I remember getting phone calls home from school from teachers, "your child is disrupting my class and they don't want to do the work". Duh, does anybody out there really believe that we as humans want to spend 12 years in school learning something that we have no interest in what so ever? If you do, please contact me, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject.
So, let me stop here before we go any further. I believe there are a lot of great people out there who become teachers to help our youth. But I'll ask you all, do you believe our current education system is on track?
That as well is a loaded question as I guess that would depend on your beliefs. And maybe that's the real problem, there are many differing beliefs on success and what is right and what is wrong hence I'll go back to our original discussion - what are we teaching our kids and how are we doing it.
I've said for years that probably one of the easiest solutions would be to pair kids with teachers with the same interests and personality types. Again, people skills aren't a subject in school so some of you may not agree with or understand that train of thought.
Let me make it simple - there are four main personality types. Some compliment others and some do not. In today's system we group kids together by their test scores, not by their interests or personality habits.
So now we have a room full of 25 children who are all motivated differently by their personality's and one teacher who is expected to try and get all these kids to "want to learn" and what we get is a disaster. Numbers dictate that the 5-6 kids in that room who have the same personality traits of that teacher will learn and the rest will fail.
Lets break it down - if you're the teacher and your personality type is "calculating and cautious" and you are a child and you have a "life of the party" type personality, guess what? The teacher is going to believe that child doesn't care and doesn't want to learn. It is far from the truth, but because that person has different interests and wants to be a rock star and not a scientist, it doesn't make them a bad kid or a failure. It just means they don't care about calculus and your method of teaching it.
The opposite is true - if you have a future NASA engineer in your class and you as a teacher have the rock star mentality trapped in the body of a teacher, then you're future engineer is going to feel bored and unchallenged and again will fail your class.
Then there's the subject of grades. For 12 years we go to school and are forced to memorize things we don't care about just for the sake of getting a good grade. Yes, in elementary school we are all excited. We're learning to read and write and naming state capitols and all that cool stuff. Our brains are developing and we just want to learn anything we can.
But as we progress into the middle and high school years they tell us we need to learn a foreign language or two. That we need all this advanced math or science, maybe we need to know what a compound thingy majingy is so we can write better (pretty cool coming from a writer huh). But all you really want to do is grow up and be the best auto body mechanic you can be, or maybe you want to work with kids with disabilities but your forced to take wood shop and learn square roots.
Then, because we have no interest in what they are teaching or we don't understand the teaching methods we get a failing grade and we continue to get failing grades for the next six or so years of our life and all we've really learned is that we are a failure. Then they tell you that you did just good enough to graduate, thanks and we'll see you later, I hope your a success.
Does anybody else get this or am I just that failure that they taught me to become for the first quarter of my life? Wow!!!
Any wonder our economy is lagging and we have so many unemployed and homeless people. 75% of the population is taught they are failures and we don't give them the skills they really need to be productive.
So I hear you, don't complain without offering the solution. There are many but for today's subject my suggestion would be to yes, teach them the basics in elementary school but also learn their interests, what their good at and what motivates them to learn. I read in a book lately that only the student can educate, the teachers job is to motivate and mentor. Then we pair them with teachers of like personalities and interests and let the student do the rest.
Curriculum will also need to be addressed and I'll get into that in my next blog entry. I'll give you a little sneak peak into that, it involves the three R's, a little black book that was written a long time ago and some of the best classics ever.
Until then, thanks for reading and your comments are welcome. You can post replies below and please share this with your friends. Group discussions and opinions can be some of the best forms of learning there is.
After all, what do I know, I am part of the 75% ?