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Friend or Foe? from "Not Miss Brooks"

Posted 09-10-2010 at 09:58 AM by Sarah111

Ah, back to school. Crisp, brand new notebooks, the scent of crayons, and the
possibilities of a new year that lie before you. SooooÖam I excited??!!


Hell to the no.

More and more Iím coming to the distressing fact that I feel Iím doing more harm than good for children.

Most people who have spent overnight in a hospital can tell you that you donít get well in a hospital. (Trust me, this relates). Since people are sick there, itís a germ dense area. Itís impossible to get any kind of rest there. Nurses and doctors come in to perform any number of tasks on you or a person that youíre rooming with, regardless of what time it is or if youíre trying to sleep.

Similarly, Iím coming to the distressing conclusion that you donít learn in school. Sure, just like at the hospital you are revived if you are unconscious, or receive other life saving treatments and medications. However, after that, itís not a place for wellness. Past a certain point, once youíve received your lifesaving treatment, if you stay longer your health will probably begin to decline.

In schools, you will get your ABCs and 123s, and then beyond that, not only does the education plateau, but many times it declines. Constant interruptions. Constant unnecessary testing on younger and younger children. Additional curriculum requirements, leading to a decrease in ďfun activities for younger and younger childrenĒ. And many other kinds of bureaucratic nonsense because ďitís for the childrenís benefitĒ. All this dissolves the kidsí natural desire to want to learn and to see it as something fun. Itís becoming a place of dread and not excitement. If Iím dreading going into work, then chances are that theyíre dreading going to school.

Furthermore, Iím coming to the sobering conclusion that teachers and administrators may be in fact unwilling instruments of the wearing away of this excitement. This is a haunting thought, because most teachers go into this profession with the idyllic notion of wanting to make some sort of difference in their lives. Now I feel as though I may be involuntarily hurting the kids more than Iím helping them.

What to do? Do I quit? Do I fight City Hall? I could, but Iím/weíre up against Goliath. I seriously doubt that it would happen. I donít foresee the powers that be seeing beyond their own selfish interests for the benefit of the kids that they claim they are all about.

So, just as you need to rely on yourself and not hospitals or doctors to become healthier, parents need to do the real teaching and encourage their children to read at home on their own time. Even if a child has a great teacher (which as we all know doesnít always happen), usually thereís a ceiling of how much can be provided, through no fault of their own.
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