There are 101 things wrong with public education. Most of them could be solved by money and logic…both of which are in short supply. That being said, I would NOT teach anywhere else. Public education is the ONLY system that truly prepares our children for their future as citizens of the world.
Let me back up a bit and say that I am writing this because I am so tired of people complaining about public education and doing absolutely nothing about it. They are quick to point out the problems, but don’t want to put forth any effort to be part of the solution. Instead they run off to try a private school, or charter school, or homeschooling. Instead of making education better for all children, they want to remove theirs from the system. Well, at some point those children have to be sent back into the real world. My fear is that they will not have the social skills, problem-solving skills, or independence to function with their peers.
Education isn’t just about learning facts and figures. It’s about adapting to situations and people. It’s about learning to survive in a world that is not always perfect. It’s about challenging yourself and stepping out of your comfort zone. It’s about finding out who you are by comparing yourself to others. It’s about joining groups and working together to support causes and solve problems. It’s about realizing that YOU are not the center of the universe.
I have a Master’s degree in school administration, yet I would not for one moment consider homeschooling a child unless they had a health condition that prevented them from attending school. In addition to missing out on social interaction and problem solving I would also have the following concerns: 1. The child would be exposed to only one teaching style- mine. 2. I would not be able to teach all of the subjects and skills required for a well-rounded education. 3. I would be inclined to cater to the child rather than challenge him. 4. The child would have difficulty functioning in public school when and if they returned to it. Homeschooling reminds me of growing a plant in a greenhouse. Some of those plants don’t survive the transition to a real garden!
When I see that people have removed their children from the public education system I want to ask them how many times they offered to volunteer at their local school. How many discussions did they have with the school superintendent about changing things? How many school board meetings did they attend in order to voice their opinion and offer solutions to local problems? How many times did they contact the state office? How many times did they communicate with their state representative?
We see protest groups on the news every night. They are demanding more pay, better healthcare, more security, privacy rights, gay rights, gun rights, etc. Where are the groups demanding better education? Where are the groups demanding new school buildings? Where are the groups demanding smaller classes? Where are the groups demanding the right to send our children to a school that is equipped to prepare them for their future? It angers me to see how many millionaires and charity groups are showering children in other countries with money and equipment while ignoring those here.
I heard yesterday that yet another class is starting this school year with 30+ kindergartners in a room with ONE teacher and no assistant. Why does everyone sit back and let that happen? Why aren’t at least 20 parents demanding that the district create another class? Why does everyone back away when the answer is “we don’t have the money”? It’s obvious that someone in this country has the money because there ARE schools with more teachers, better equipment, and newer buildings.
Okay, I’m out of time so I will climb down off my soapbox and get ready to teach my class. If I offended you with my opinion I’m sorry. You should hear the ones I keep to myself.