There is nothing worse to me than to see a child suffer not being taken care of in a manner that would offer them an opportunity at a great life. Granted there are no guarantees that there won't be pain or disappointment in life but when a child is sent out into the world unprepared and unsupported we all suffer the consequences! Education is important for everyone's life.
Watching Oprah on Monday allowed me entree into other lives that have been affected by an ENTIRE educational system that is flawed. It is a damn shame that in 2010 the United States of America has a poor educational system at all. When my daughter was in the 5th grade the English department came up with an idea to use shaving cream and play-doh as motivational tools to encourage better spelling. I flipped out I will admit it, but can you blame me? I contacted the school along with other parents and "Operation Play-Doh" disappeared! Now why should I have to look out for ridiculousness like that!
The U.S. may have some of the "top schools" in the world (by it's own assertion) but when you are considered to be the most advantaged country in the world and ALL of it's children don't have access to the same quality of education because of perceived entitlements of wealth and location, then that system is screwed. It takes much more effort to go out of your way to deny the many those things that are afforded to the few. So I absolutely take it personally because it is obviously meant that way.
Education should not have any element of exclusivity. Exclusivity is a bullshit term used by shallow and insecure people to justify their excess and delusions of greatness. Dumb ass Americans continually vote against their best interests-- probably thinking that the smaller the educated group is in America then all the better because it's easier to lead sheep rather than having an intelligent and well formed society.
I don't use the word hate often because it's usually reserved for things or people that evoke a gut-wrenching and visceral reaction in me that doesn't end well for the people on the receiving end of that emotion. But I HATE the way this country operates in regards to the welfare of ALL of it's children. When a bank account, zip code or skin color can determine whether a child gets the best advantages in life then you are begging to be hated! There are some in this world who understand that you can't deny ANY child a quality education and expect good to come from it.
"I certainly owe all my success to having had a great education. I went to an incredible school, and I remember the teachers who encouraged me. I'm so lucky. I had what every kid should have, honestly," Gates said in an interview.
"We're a country that talks about equal opportunity, but without a great education, there is no equal opportunity. And we're a country that talks about how we're the best and the richest and we set an example. But without good education, our relative position in the world will decline." Bill Gates
Parents-- get your asses down to your child's school on the regular (yes, it is possible) so that your presence is known! Ensure that your children begin school knowing:
- how to spell and write their name
- your name (not Mommy or Daddy), the one listed on your birth certificate
- their home phone number
- how to respect adults and how to respect themselves
- their ABC's (not the damn song)-- able to associate the pronunciation with the letter
- their 123's-- associating the pronunciation with the numeral
- colors (at least 10 of them, come on!)
- how to tie their shoes (it can be a true and easy sense of accomplishment for them)
Teachers-- If you are not personable and don't like people then it is time for a career change so that you can get the hell out of my child's classroom. Choose to earn your living in any profession that doesn't require personal interaction, patience or compassion but get out of the classroom! I believe that being a teacher is a difficult job... just like parenthood it ain't for everybody. I accept no excuses when it comes to the people who have the access and power to influence my child's self-esteem and outlook on the world. Go elsewhere!
Having said all of that I do realize:
- you are bombarded on a regular basis with 30 or more different personalities
- some parents are not involved as they should be (parents get on your J-O-B)
- children today can behave as if they have no home training (parents get on your J-O-B)
- you work within a system that strangles your ability to do your job well (don't we all)
- not all of you are BAD teachers but TOO many of you are
- that to be a teacher you have to find a way to make it work
Wake up people. Demand equal quality (not equality) in everything for the children and for yourselves!