Kids are people too!

Katherine (age 6) was bewildered and frightened when asked not to get on her bus,as usual, yesterday. My daughter called her school and told them that Kat’s dad was going to pick her up for a change. Ellen specifically asked them to inform Katherine that her Daddy was coming.

The school office called Kat’s classroom and told her teacher to send Kat to the “walkers” exit. She was not to get on the bus. NO ONE TOLD KAT WHY. She was whimpering to herself until she saw her Dad. The change of plans without an explanation had her bewildered. THAT makes me angry!

It reminded me of my own experience the day President Kennedy was shot. I was just a little older than Katherine when I saw teachers congregating in our school hallway. They were crying. A voice came over the school intercom saying that we were all to go home immediately. This was almost an hour before ordinary dismissal. I ran home with my heart pounding and my eyes filled with tears. WHAT could be going on?

We had been schooled in the threat of nuclear attacks during the sixties and you can only imagine the possible scenarios that filled my head!

This is a post with a big message attached. Kids are people too! They are not mindless amoebas that litter a room. Tell them what’s going on you arrogant educators!

Whew…I feel better now. Have a nice day. 🙂

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Lawsuits VS Education

I have always loved science. One of my favorite Christmas gifts was a Geology set. I felt like a pro with my official rock hammer and samples that I could touch.

My interest peaked before my options did. There were no geology units, in elementary school, that delved deeply enough for me. How I wish that we had a Discovery Channel then.

Kids are offered many samples of information with TV and the internet. It is exciting to think their blooming interests will have “vines” to grow on. Alert teachers and caregivers have avenues, to offer their prodigies, that were not available in my day. Kids are not getting smarter, their choices are better.

I am a big proponent of the Montessori method in education. Reading, writing and ‘rithmatic can be taught in combination with any interest. It is the interest that must guide the learning not the other way around.

That said, the key in our schools, revolves around small class sizes. In a perfect world, I’d like to see no more than 12 kids in one class.(Ideally, 8) The primary teacher must have an assistant too. Then,and only then, the kids would be able to explore and learn to their own “tune”.  The teacher would have a better handle on classroom discipline and a familiar feeling for what makes each student “tick”.

Alas, theory is much easier than application. Home schooling is a very good alternative but unaffordable to most.

The Boy and Girl Scouts, as well as, 4H organizations are very helpful to our future scientists. If not for liability issues, I’m sure communities would offer playground camps in the summer. Individual citizens would be more inclined to offer instruction too. There are Beekeeping clubs, gardening groups, bird-watchers etc. who could share their knowledge and excitement for specializing.

This rant is just that, a rant of frustration. The US is not capitalizing on our young peoples’ interests at the peril of our future. Liability and lawsuits are ruining us. I don’t know how to fix it. I’d like to see big penalties for bogus lawsuits. BIG PENALTIES. I’d like our kids to play together without hearing,”I’ll sue you!” on the Kindergarten playground.

Those who really have grounds for lawsuits are equally injured in the environment of  “easy money”.

I started this post with happiness and hope. Where it lead me was beyond my first consideration. I think I’ve stumbled upon our real crisis…anyone got ideas how to resolve it?

(Rounding up unethical lawyers and putting them together on a remote  island just may be a good start. Ha!)

The Worst Teacher I Ever Had

I don’t do numbers.

“Ugh…I hate math…numbers are so boring…so are Math teachers.”

My sophomore year in High School solidified this feeling for me.

He sat on the front of his desk and assigned Algebra equations to solve.

That’s it.

He never smiled. No humorous numeric riddles. He spoke in a whisper, usually as he was turned away from us and adding a new equation to the blackboard. I might have strained to hear if I thought it would help.

I was a natural at many things but numbers just were too concrete to interest me. Math was my most dreaded subject and Mr. Kelly was the example of everything a teacher should NOT aspire to.

To convince you of his ineptness, here is a SHORT discussion we had.

Teacher: ” Do problems number 4 and 5.”

Me: “Mr. Kelly, I don’t think we’ve covered that process yet… Could you refresh us?”

Teacher:”If you don’t know how to do that, by now, I’m certainly not going to tell you.”

What the heck?

(Sorry to all interesting Math teachers. That guy gave you a really bad name.)

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