Education

Climbthetreecartoonhttp://weknowmemes.com/2011/10/the-educational-system-comic/

Not being a conspiracy theorist, I cannot say, categorically, that there is a plot afoot to keep the general populace in widespread ignorance by dumbing down the curriculum.

Neither can I say, with any real evidence, that current methodology and practice within establishments (from primary through to secondary and beyond) is designed to ensure minimum love of education and a destruction of motivation within students and teachers.

What I can say, with more than a measure of truth, is that all of the above appears to be happening.

And it worries the hell out of me.

Children either unable to read or spell or their capacity to do so measuring well below their intellectual abilities.

Children bored or turned off of education from the earliest years.

Students lacking the desire to embrace education for the sheer joy of it.

There is much more. And there are many more worrying traits that I have observed over a lifetime being involved in education as a student, teacher and parent.

I am embarking on something of an investigation into this on a practical level as well as in theory.

I would be grateful for any input you may have to offer from any perspective regardless of nationality. I am looking at this within the context of Scottish education but keeping an eye open to a wider perspective. I have reason to believe that this is not merely a Scottish issue.

It would be helpful to know where you are from. If possible, could you please state a country in the comments section, as additional information to the first poll, with ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ or other placed beside your nationality.

Thank you for taking part. I’m hoping to get to the bottom of a number of issues and any information will add value to the practical measures I am taking.

miracle-einstein-quoteI believe in miracles.

Mothers’ Eyes

Reposes she

With cheeks and brow so fair

Image framed

By skeins of flaxen hair

Puckered lips

Forming glowing pout

Recumbent God

Seen without one doubt

 

Lashes flutter

In dreams of golden flight

Tucked into bed

Safe love secures her night

No demons here

No haunted childhood psyche

A child at rest

All should have her like

 

Portraits of injured innocence

Suffuse my working hours

Souls may keen

At battles without power

A helping hand

From those who know the just

Love them all

As adults we most surely must

 

 

A little one

Though worldly without wise

Compassion demands

We see all through mothers’ eyes.

Respect. There’s The Buzz!

I wrote this today when I came home from school. I’ve had a challenging couple of days. One, yesterday, with children who need and who get, from their dedicated workers, the love and care they need to grow and learn. A group of people I now have the utmost respect for; because I understand better. I don’t think I could do it on a daily basis. I was shattered after one day of special ed.

I almost decided not to post this because I felt it sounded a bit big-headed, as if, ‘aren’t I so good at this?’

But then I read this post. I understand where the thoughts are coming from and I agree with some of the matters pertaining to control being ousted from the hands of parents and teachers and children thereby feeling they can get away with just about anything. But then why not all children? Not all children act up or misbehave even though the same legislation governs all.

And I figured I disagreed strongly enough to want to share why I think children often act the way they do and how it can be overcome by very simple measures. I don’t have discipline problems with the many classes I take. These classes may have up to 33 children in them, the legal limit. And I put it down to giving and expecting respect. And walking that walk.

 

And so began another round,

Children lost and children found.

Those who try their best to please,

Those who want you on your knees.

 

And here lies where I do my best,

A daily sort of different test,

Where all who bring their many moods

Can be taught that good is good.

 

A mindful sort of joint respect

Expected, so you always get

A shift, a change in attitude,

A lifting of those many moods.

 

I love it when I have the chance

To encapsulate, in just one glance,

What is needed; I appraise.

Teaching has momentous days.

 

Another job I could not do,

So many different points of view,

But only one that’s worth its weight;

When love is shown they hesitate –

 

To bother with the nasty eyes,

The blaming culture, telling lies,

The arrogance that some may feel.

We get to basics, discover real.

 

And when you see the child within,

The innocence, the carefree grin,

Even those whose moods are black

Succumb to love and give it back.

 

Thirty years of doing this

I rarely shout or want to cuss

For children know, ‘cos they’re not blind,

That some there are who read their minds.

 

No hesitation if you feel

That here’s a job where, for real

You can make a difference if

You’re prepared to love and give

 

And, in return, (the pay’s not much),

The satisfaction’s such a buzz

When children know and find their way.

An enjoyable education day.

Things I Hate About Teachers

Asking a young child to make something they evidently cannot.

We’ve made treasure chests from perfume boxes and houses from shoe boxes. We have even made the inside of the Tardis together. A slightly bigger shoe box for that one, from husband-sized feet. Lots of foil containers for that space-age effect. I was quite proud of that one.

When I say we made these things together, I mean I was there and said child was there. Child wants to make it but doesn’t know how so basically watches while I do most of it, occasionally helping out with bits of sellotape and essentially useless advice.

Our last effort was a lighthouse for a book study on ‘The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch.’

As guilty as I feel about doing these tasks I figure I’m helping, working with my child, showing them the ropes. Togetherness and all that. Then I see the other ‘children’s’ masterpieces and I realise that my pathetic little attempts are sadly wanting in the face of such gargantuan effort. Nobody said anything about developing a pulley system to showcase the lighthouse and ensure lunch was provided.

I’ve been had.

And does the teacher know that these wonderful efforts are not all the children’s own work? Darn tooting she does. What’s the point? The only person who gets real satisfaction from it is the parent who is keen to show off their expertise in construction and engineering.

My worst and positively worst attempt at making anything was a homemade Easter bonnet.

Due in for the following day.  So no pressure then.

With no imagination and even less equipment I attempted to create something Eastery from nothing for my son’s nursery Easter parade.

After some truly awful attempts, some glasses of red to keep myself and my visiting sister-in –law company, I settled on one of the least of my truly awful attempts.

Armed with only a pair of scissors and a stapler and some more red wine, I emptied the plastic corn flake filled insert from a box of Mr Kelloggs’s own making and set to work.

The enormous red chicken on the front of the packet was cut out and stapled to a cardboard headband, modelled for size by said sister-in-law as the one useful thing she could offer to the totally useless mess I was creating.

And voila.

One Easter bonnet.

Son was delighted. I was less so when I had to attend the parade. Usually I miss all these events because I’m busy holding the self-same event in my school.

When I saw the children appear in their finery I could have cried. Who thinks up these magnificent creations and who the hell has got the time to make them? And were all those fluffy chickens and cute little Easter eggs all just lying about in their houses? Or, thinking about it, did those parents raid their child’s schoolbag early enough in the week to have some notice of the event, thereby enabling them to buy the bloody stuff?

Every child strutted their yellow fluffy stuff around the hall and my boy was equally proud.

At least, I think it was pride that was causing the red flush on his face.

I slid as far down my plastic bucket seat as was humanly possible and cringed. Helpful sister-in-law was nowhere in sight.