Our Nation’s Schools

With the release of “Waiting for ‘Superman’ “, attention has once again turned to our failing education system. In case people did not know, our education system has been in trouble for a long, long, long time.

I finished high school in 1986 – There were some good teachers, mostly the older ones that taught because they wanted to, and not because they had to. I had a good 8th grade science teacher, and a good 12th grade english teacher, my drafting teacher was very cool, so was the woodshop teacher.

On the other hand, there were the teachers that either pushed some kind of social agenda (like my biology teacher showing anti-abortion films), and the ones that had some kind of chip on their shoulder – like the gym coach that threw a basketball at my face because I did not understand what he was saying. Or the teachers that took their frustrations out on the kids with a paddle.

I think it was my 4th grade teacher that handed out a couple of assignments, I did the wrong one first, so she took me to the office and paddled me. That was sometime around 1979, and to this day (September 28, 2010) I still do not understand “why” I received that paddling. If anything, I think the teacher was having a bad day, I made a mistake and did the wrong assignment, and she took her anger out on me – that was not fair. Sometimes I wish I remembered her name, so if I ever ran into her in around town I could tell her how much of a witch she is. But she would probably take it as a compliment. But on the other hand, I’am kinda glad I do not remember her name.

When I did not understand something in the class room, it was just too bad. The teachers did not have the time to give 1-on-1 help. So I just kept falling further and further behind, to the point where I did not understand my home work, test, or anything else. Teachers would send me home with home work, that I just did not understand. So I would sit there, looking at a book that I did not understand, trying to answer questions that I did not understand. As a result most of my homework was not handed in, or handed in incomplete. What else was I supposed do to?

Here we are, 24 years after I finished high school and I still feel a great amount of anger and bitterness towards teachers and schools in general. When I hear that one of my high school teachers has died, I can not say that I feel bad for them. Its kind of a mixed emotion. Their dead, I’am still alive, thats all that matters. In away I’am glad that some of them are dead, so they can not torment other kids. But I’am sure those mean teachers will just be replaced by teachers that are just as mean, if not meaner.

If people “really” want to change our school system, start by getting rid of the sense of entitlement that teachers have. If a teacher can not teach, they need to leave. Regardless of how much schooling a person receives, that does not make them a good teacher. Get rid of the teachers that give out home work like candy – because a lot of kids do not understand the home work. If they do not understand it, how are they supposed to complete it. By giving out lots of homework, the teachers are setting the kids up for failure.

From the recent articles about “Waiting for ‘Superman’, it looks like our education system has just gotten worse over the past 20+ years. Nothing looks like its changed. Teachers still push the kids through school – regardless if the kids understand it or not.

On the topic of year round school – lets not subject kids to year round anguish and mental cruelty.

The answer is not more money, but an education system that is tuned into the needs of the children. No child should be left behind, and that should have included me.

I really like science, and especially anthropology. So I would have liked some classes on those topics offered, but they were not. German or Latin would have been much better to learn then Spanish, but my school only offered Spanish. German sounds like poetry, Spanish sounds like Spanish. Latin was taught in schools in the early 1800s, but for some reason its not offered today, go figure that one out.

What if cookie dough had feelings – and you took that cookie cutter, pushed it through the dough, and the dough felt the sharp edge cutting through it. That is what school does to kids. Schools expect kids to all be the same, learn the same, behave the same,,,, but that is not how it works. If one of the kids gets out of line, the cookie cutter is called in and the child is shaped into something he/she does not want to be. Instead of allowing the child to develop and grow into their own person, their stamped into something the teachers and state “thinks” they should be. Its no wonder that so many kids fail, drop out of school or are sent to a private school.

Keep in mind, what goes around comes around.  If your mean to those kids, when your old and feeble, someone might just be mean to you.

To all of you mean teachers out there, a very special “screw you” from the bottom of my heart.