While swimming at the Y the other day, I enjoyed watching a young kiddo getting swim lessons. Teacher and student alike were having a great time. The young teacher was offering gentle encouragement while their young apprentice mastered a new stroke.
I thought to myself what a brilliant picture of education in action. Here was a young adult who had already mastered a skill and was it passing down to an eager youngster who had the desire to learn.
Yes, I see that hand in the front of the class. Well that’s fine for swim lessons but kids need SCHOOL.
Or do they?
Daniel, my electrical/plumbing prodigy latches on to any service guy that will give him the time of day. Presently, he volunteers time at an Antique Mall where the owner is more than happy to show Daniel the ropes of the business. And you’ve already heard about his telephone expert friend, Jim.
This hand –to-hand, mind-meld sort of passing of knowledge is educating my son in ways I could never have dreamed of.
Yeah, yeah….I know. This can’t work for everyone. In a perfect world, we’d all have loving tutors and coaches. Parents would never divorce and politicians would serve the best interests of their people. Sounds like a pipe dream eh?
But I think it’s incumbent upon parents to rethink how we do school in the states.
Consider: In some Florida schools, it’s been ruled that…well, here. Read it for yourself. Here’s an excerpt:
Under a new policy up for a vote by the Hernando County School Board next month, the new grade for a missed assignment or test at the elementary level would be 40 percent.
Translation: no more zeros.
The goal, district officials say, is to give kids a statistical fighting chance to turn around their overall grade — something tough to do even with a couple of zeros or a few very low marks on the books.
If approved, Hernando would be the first in the area to set the kind of grading protocol that has sparked a feisty philosophical debate in the world of education.
Say what? Let’s see how this would translate into a life lesson. Johnny grows up….can’t make it to work in the morning because the party at Sally’s house last night was, like, sooooooo awesome…and now he’s, like, hung over. Well, tough nuggies, Mr. Employer….Johnny is expecting that his zero performance still mandates a paycheck.
What an insult to the human spirit. What a demeaning, arrogant way to treat a child. (We know you’re incapable of passing on by your own merit but we’re going to pass you anyway.) Now just turn off your brain and do as we say.
This bodacious policy is wrong on so many levels! But I come back to my point: We must rethink how we do school in America.
I love this comment Chris Davis, a home school dad whose kids are now grown said to me on an earlier post:
I hear young people say they want to live wholly unto the Lord and not by the world’s ways; but there seems to be such a strong urge to “play the only game in town”, meaning following everyone else into the systems set up by this age. Those who have left the Matrix need to show these young people that it REALLY IS POSSIBLE to do what is in one’s heart while holding tenaciously to what Jesus says in Matthew 6.
I know, I know….that pesky in a perfect world thing again…But I’m grateful for folks like Chris, who comes from a long line of public school teachers and possesses a Master’s degree, has seen a glimpse of how this could play out in real life. (And his boys are living proof.) And may I add…this wisdom is just as applicable for those outside the faith community?
It’s a tall order, I know. But like an alcoholic must first admit he’s got a problem, parents need to put down the remote and take fresh look at their child’s school and realize the emperor has no clothes.
And forty percent of nothing is STILL nothing.