I read a report the other day online. I wish I could find it again to reference it, but I can't. Basically, it was giving stats about how low our nations schools are compared to so many other countries in the world. I'm not sure from where these stats were gathered, but I'm guessing it's standardized testing of some kind or another. And our nation wasn't just number 4 or 5...we were around number 30 in some areas. OUCH!
The author of the article shared what we, as parents, should be doing to remedy this "situation." He (she?) said that we should be demanding more from the schools, teachers, administrators, etc. Frankly, I couldn't disagree more.
Yes, I do believe that there are some teachers that are in this career because they think it's an easy paycheck...holidays off...weekends off...summers off...union protection. And, yes, there are administrators who really don't care. And schools that don't work at their full potential. And staff that simply need to retire. But I think these scenarios are the exception.
I believe that the majority of school staff are highly dedicated, continually striving to learn new methods to challenge their students. I believe they are often faced with unreasonable expectations...too much material to cover and too much time trying to manage their classroom, leaving even less time to cover this ever increasing amount of material, some of which has NO business being taught in the classrooms in the first place!
I started thinking about decades ago...when there were still one-room schoolhouses...with one teacher who often didn't even attend college...children of varying ages...limited resources...and even shorter school years due to the more demanding need of keeping children home to work the fields, etc.
Compare that with teachers today...needing Master's degrees, endless seminars and inservices and meetings, additional university courses just to keep their teaching certificates.
So why then, when we have "more" now, do students keep falling further and further behind? What have we not addressed? Maybe we should cram more into the tiny little ones at an earlier age. Nope...tried that, too. Doesn't work. Really...why does a 3 year old need to know what a parallelogram is? And why do kindergarten children need to know how to read, and all their numbers to 100? Whatever happened to being a child...graham crackers and chocolate milk snack, going home to eat lunch with mommy, and a nice long nap? Do you know that many European countries do not start their children in formal education until they are 6 or 7 years old? Hmmm...
Here's a thought I've not read about...what about parents? Where are parents in this mix? Ah...now I think we're on to something. Has anyone in any place of authority told parents to step up the plate to improve education? And this does not mean putting your child into a million activities to "boost their brain" or push them so hard they have a nervous breakdown. I'm talking discipline. How about teaching kids some good ole respect for authority? A strong work ethic? Natural consequences? Loving others first? Obedience!!!!!!!
That's what I think the solution is. Let's get back to the basics of parents taking responsibility for their kids, and stop pointing fingers at others. Maybe, if your child is "in trouble" at school, you've missed the mark at parenting. Not always, but has it ever crossed your mind? Maybe it's not little Billy's teacher that being mean...but it's little Billy who has a sassy attitude and doesn't know how to show respect. Maybe it's not little Susie's teacher giving her too much homework, but little Susie is being lazy and chatty during the school day.
So, parents...step up to the plate. You decided to have children, so act like parents and not their friends. You're not your child's friends! Repeat: YOU'RE NOT YOUR CHILD'S FRIENDS! You are their parents. And maybe, just maybe, if parents tried this, we would see not only an improvement in education, but in society overall. What's your take on this?