Let me start off by saying my Aunt is a teacher, my parents were teachers of a sort, and one of our good friends is a teacher. I am in no way trying to be disrespectful to this profession or those within it.
As a mother I recognize that teaching someone can be hard!
That being said, here’s what I have to say.
Our children go to school every weekday, just as we did and those before us and likely those after us. Everyday they are expected to roboticly join their peers at their desk, tables, or rugs listening to mindless banter that often even an adult would be hard-pressed to sit through attentively.
After most “lectures” there are work sheets. One upon another with basically the same questions, topics or expectations as the next. And then they will repeat these worksheets in similarity for the next week or so, often with a test at the end. Now for those who are slower learners or just don’t care to be mentally pushed stimulated on a regular basis, this is fine for them. However, like my oldest, I’m sure there are many other parents who’s children have a hard time with this.
I have always been a stay at home parent and so I started teaching things to my children before our schools curriculum ever did. My 7 year old, who has always been a very bright and quick learner, gets into trouble regularly for her “lack of focus” and occasional outright unwillingness to do the work she has been given.
She had a math test one day where she sat at her desk for 90 minutes – missing her recces – and never wrote so much as her name on it! We all knew she was more then capable of completing and even passing this test! At home I often just randomly spew off an equation after indicating which child it is directed towards and with her, we’re into multiplication already. Her grade 2 math only focuses on addition, subtractions, and simple finish the equation, draw picture to match type problems. After speaking alone with her and our daughter and then her teacher, she was given another opportunity to complete the test, and she did.
Now having given her this “Second chance”, you may be thinking we just encouraged a repeat of this behavior, and our daughter has learned nothing about her responsibility to do things on time and when she is asked.
I can see this for sure, but I also see where her teacher is the one who is failing.
We can only talk so much about what is important and why and then it is up to our children to accept and the teachers to encourage and inspire!
My daughter, though academically intelligent when measured to today’s standards, is also very creative and inquisitive. She loves to draw – and she does quite well for a 7 year old if I may say so myself 🙂 – but she also loves to just know about things! She quite often will ask about God and why things work the way that they do, and even comes up with her own answers -that work! – to those questions you may dread as a parent having to answer – especially at 7, like “how do you get a baby in your belly?”.
Simply put, in school, my child is bored. I know this isn’t intirely a good excuse, as adults still have to do many things they do not enjoy, but if you are bored it means you are not inspired. It means you are no longer learning even if you do manage to appear as though you are focusing and paying attention to the thing you are being asked to.
I’m sure there are many other kids who are exactly the same as my daughter and who are being blamed for their lack of cooperation and being labeled as problem students. In fact, I know I’m not alone in this as I have heard many parents this year state how their kids (and they) have the same issues with “this teacher”.
Let me ask a question;
As a parent, if something you are doing to raise your child doesn’t appear to be “working” – be it discipline or teaching of a new skill – do you continue along using the same method?
I know I don’t.
I think we as a society, need to change the way we look at children. We need to stop looking at them as trainable little beings, and start seeing them as the tiny humans that they are!
Embrace their individualism and cultivate it into a new way of teaching!
Life is not simply just black and white, and neither are people.
Dogs need to be stimulated, flowers need to be watered, and people need to be inspired to succeed!
Children are people too.
Thanks for reading 🙂