Thoughts From A Near Teacher
I've been having an ongoing e-mail dialogue with my buddy N. Our friendship dates back to the early 1980's, a long time when one considers my youthful age of thirty. N began his collegiate career with the intention of becoming a teacher; I started out to become a Youth Pastor. He works in banking, I teach.
He asked: Do you really think the public school system can be changed from the inside-out?
My answer: Yes, but it will take the teachers and students to revolt. I really mean this. For the public schools to change, it will take the students demanding a better product and the teachers refusing to follow the status quo dictated by politicians.
In referencing one of the Obama speeches, he adds: The speech begs one question of his massive assumption - do parents today really know what it means to be a parent? And - do parents really care about what their kid does in school or do they mostly send them because they know the kid has to go?
My answer: I don't think parents really know what it means to be a parent. We are a child centered world which indulges our youth instead of teaching them the importance of self-reliance--Emerson would be furious.
But both of these questions are far too broad. In general, parents do well at validating the educational process. Yet, we still have too many students neglected by both poverty stricken parents and lavishly wealthy parents.
For public education to flourish, we must recognize when our students need more than an academic education. To assist us, the politicians who dole out money to public shools must change their paradigm. Instead of giving equally to all, the government ought to recognize that some need more than others--and not just financially. Part of being responsible with public funds should mean teaching the parents the necessary skills to help their children.
To get a driver's license, we take a mandated course. To become a parent, a much more dangerous venture, society requires nothing.
He closed with: When you have a sense of entitlement towards education, which a majority of students have today, there is no drive to stand out, let alone achieve the minimum. There's no respect in the prison for the jailkeeper unless he (or she) throws the prisoners a bone now and then. That's what it seems to me that you are describing in some of your posts. Kids that are doing what they have to because there are no other options to school (the prison). To many of them, you're the jailkeeper. Though, its not really you...its big government.
My answer: Well, there's no question so it is simply to agree in principle. I need to consider the prison concept a bit further.