The bane of my existence in motherhood since she was in first grade. In theory, it sounds like an excellent ideation. A standard to uphold all of our educational system to in order to ensure that all children, no matter what neighborhood they live in or what their societal status is, will all be literate and able to pass a certain minimum requirement across the board, equivalent at all grade levels.
But the reality became that all the teachers began fearing for their jobs because their job security became dependant upon the standardized test scores of their class. And sometimes, no matter how good a teacher is, there are some students and classes that just won’t do well on standardized tests. PERIOD. The teachers, who are in it for the love of their career and the love of their students, are now having to sacrifice their unique creativity and are forced to “teach to the test”. They have a constant anxiety about them and they are micromanaged by administration in what materials they must utilize to teach their class. They have very little freedom to impress their own unique methods upon the children. Our educational system is attempting to turn out a deluge of little robots who are unable to think for themselves, because they were all taught under the same methodology.
And to go one step further, the tricks that we all figured out on our own that worked for us individually in subjects like math for adding things faster by grouping things a certain way etc…The children are not allowed to be creative and come up with this on their own anymore. Every single “trick” is now taught. Which actually ends up causing confusion. I liken it to trying to give someone directions from point a to point b and instead of just giving them the most efficient way of getting there, I give them 5 different options when they are from out of town. Now tell me, how would that person not end up getting lost?
Having visual displays such as this pictured above would be a very creative way to imbed fundamental concepts in to children’s minds in school, and would also free up a lot of class time to work on other fundamentals that are being grossly overlooked.
While I firmly believe in the intrinsic value of an academic education, and I would never want to eliminated any of the core curriculum that is mandatory, I do believe that there is a gaping hole in our educational system that we need to get a firm grasp on very quickly before our world inplodes.
While it may technically be the parents job to teach children things such as manners, social skills, financial skills, hygiene, psychological mechanisms, and to prepare them for when they leave the proverbial nest, the stark reality is that many parents are not upholding this part of their job. This lack of preparedness now falls on the shoulders of society in more ways that one. Children are not able to navigate the trials and tribulations of school, much less the great big world once they turn 18. Anxiety and depression have risen in numbers exponentially in recent years. For some it is because the parents don’t care enough to teach them these skills and that they are wrapped up in their own world. Some parents are very busy working multiple jobs to make ends meet in a very tough market and don’t have the time. And for some, the parents themselves don’t have the skills.
It is sad that many children don’t know how to pack their own lunch, or how to make themselves some basic meals. Many children don’t understand what bullying really is. Perhaps if they had it truly laid out for them, in demonstration formats, some might realize how much they can hurt others, some might report it more, some might realize how much they really are being bullied and real solutions can start to be developed. If Butchildren were taught tolerance for the differences in theseothers, perhaps they could learn to appreciate others rather than cutting them down all the time. These things need to be taught, not just assumed that they are being taught by the parents (even though that’s the way it SHOULD be).
I have ideas for a way to help prepare children for the real world, and all it would take is one class that would run throughout their entire schooling called “Life Skills”. It would prepare them for how to take care of a baby, how to handle finances in a responsible way, how to go grocery shopping economically, how to change a tire and change the oil in a car, home ec, how to use a drill, at the younger ages how to resolve conflicts between people, time management, general manners and courtesy, decency and unspoken rules-such as waiting until the person is done bagging at the self checkout before sending your stuff down, apologizing if you accidentally bumping in to someone etc… There are so many topics to cover that can prepare children for the world in practical ways and that can also make people more peaceful and able to get along with one another, with the hopeful result of less fighting and conflict. The topics of this one class would change constantly throughout the year and from year to year as the children mature. I truly believe that this vision would help the upcoming generations get a grasp on reality before being turned out on their own. I have plans to draw out a very specific curriculum from K-12 and eventually propose it to some education boards.