January 29, 2010

We Don't Need No Education

Please be aware that you may be offended by the following post. Also know that it is just my little opinion and just because we differ on the matter, it does not mean we cannot be friends. If we are friends, you already know that I am full of opinions and don't mind that yours is different. I just felt this needed to be said.

Remember when I said that I would post a list of "500 reasons having children scares the crap out of me"? Well, add this to my list soon to be published. "I think the educational system in America stinks!"

Why? Well, let me step on my soap box.

  1. Our teachers are not respected by the public. I have heard people in my life that I love adore say the phrase "Those who can't do, TEACH!" That helps. It takes a special skill to want to teach people. It takes patience, which most people that get things on the first try do not have. It takes the willingness to go that extra mile for the kid in the back row. It takes a very special kind of person to see the potential in a child that may be struggling because of a learning disability or bad home. Teachers can change the lives of children for the good and the bad. It is our responsibility as a society to help them by treating them with respect.
  2. Teachers are not paid well and it shows. This should really be 1a. on the list because it boils down to our country's obsession with the almighty dollar. We have inadvertently taught our children that money means success and without money you are nothing. Everyone knows teachers do not make nearly enough money and the children treat them like they are less because they make less. It is easier with younger children because they have yet to become so jaded. However, I very rarely see a high school or junior high teacher that is happy at 4:00pm. I know that teachers get 3 months off and spring break and all but when the future of your children is at hand... maybe we should rethink the paycheck.
  3. Tenure. Almost anyone who knows that their job is safe barring harassment or something crazy stops working as hard. They do the same thing in Broadway shows. If you no the gig is yours and there is no one waiting in the wings to take your spotlight (or paycheck) you get by with as little as possible. I am not saying everyone does but I just don't believe in tenure for any job. Ever. A teachers job has got to be one of the hardest jobs there is. If they are doing the job with the thought that each kid that steps into their classroom is one day going to be out on their own raising a family, running a business, or possibly running our country then I imagine that is a lot of weight to carry around. So naturally, there will be a day when you just don't care anymore. Unfortunately, I think anyone that has a child's future in their hands should never take a day off from caring. I had a teacher that made me hate English in the 6th grade and one that changed my life with English in the 8th grade. If we had more teachers in this country like Mrs. Graham the world would be a better place.
  4. Arts. Everyday the music programs are being cut from our school systems. It has been proven time and time again that students who have a music program at school have 2 times better tests scores than those schools that do not. Music, and all the art forms, are also called disciplines. Discipline. Hmm. Correct me if I'm wrong but maybe it is the discipline learned from music and other arts that help these children to succeed in school. You cannot learn to play the guitar without practice. You cannot learn algebra without study. I realize that schools are hurting for money and that this seems like the easy thing to let go. But music kept me eligible. All my activities were outside of school, so grades did not matter. Maybe if children had a fun reason to keep their grades up they would try harder. Because not everyone can be good a sports.
  5. Athletics. God bless my hometown... but GEEZ Never in my life have I seen a place where you are nothing without sports quite like Ardmore. I mean, all my lovely little dance girls come rolling in wearing those ugly basketball shorts. Ugh. I have never, ever, played sports. If you know me, you know why. But sadly these programs are actually disappearing in some inner city schools and that terrifies me. Almost every guy I knew kept his grades up for one reason and one reason only. To be eligible to play in those Friday Night Lights. We weren't even that good when I was in school but those boys sure did want to play. And that drive that they had gave them skills to succeed in other areas of their lives. Sure none of them are professional athletes but a good portion played sports in college and now have great jobs. Many of those guys would have never gone to college without the sports scholarship and a coach that made them keep their grades up.
I could go on for days but really these are the highlights of my soap box today.

All in all, I think that 3 things could really change the way our youth are shaping up today. First, they need teachers who care. Second, they need to be told that they are worth it and they will succeed. And last, they need to be given a reason to succeed. A drive. Something that makes them want to better themselves. Our generation has got to stop blaming the one before and start to take action and we must begin with the children in our lives.


  1. You could add a 4th about responsible parents: Yes it is a teachers job to teach but it's also a parent's job to teach at home. The two go hand in hand. I could go on and on about this topic but that would take up a whole other blog post.

  2. After being at the dance studio my whole life, I could write a book about lame parents! I know I don't have kids but there is some serious common sense missing in people these days!



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