Truth: Education standards today scare the holy crap out of me. I have a mental checklist of all the reasons why I am homeschooling my child and I feel like it will never stop growing.
I bring this up because within the past year a YouTube video went viral and it put a lot of questions in peoples minds, showing a light on something that no one really paid much attention to.
Here’s the video:
I am going to say it again, education standards scare me. But they also infuriate me. Keep reading to see why.
1. The title does not mean ‘drop out of school’. It means make subjects that students have no future need for/want to take elective classes, instead of core standards.
2. It is the COLLECTIVE EFFORT of the parents, teachers, principles, administrators, and the students to do all that they can to gain a proper/justifiable/real world education. It is not just one person’s fault, it is everyone’s fault.
Core Standards or More Dollars?
Education is not a privilege, it is a basic a human right. Every person on this Earth has the right to learn all that they can and it is human decency/compassion to help guide and teach these people. Education should be free, it should be a top priority.
But education has been regulated to one of those things we have to go through just because someone said so. You want a job to support your family or yourself? Better have an education. Want to own a business? Better have an education. Want to be healthy? Better have an education.
We put so much pressure on people to be educated, graduate from high school with good grades and go to college to repeat the same stance, that people make a lot of bad choices and mistakes. How many lawyers out there wanted to be painters when they were younger but were forced to change their minds because it wasn’t a feasible job? With the right education, a focus on what that person needed, he could have been a successful artist, doing something he loved and be happy. But instead he hates his job and wonders what happened to his life.
Education as a whole needs to change. I get why we teach kids what we do. Math, Science, History, English/Writing. I get all that I do. I want to be an English teacher, it’s one of my many dreams. Will I ever get it? Not with the cost of colleges as they are right now. Not even close.
But do you remember high school? If you hated math, meaning calculus, pre-calculus, trigonometry? Do you remember sitting in that class and absolutely hating it because you didn’t get it, you didn’t know why you needed to learn it, and you just felt stupid as hell when you barely passed it? WHY SHOULD WE SUBJECT OUR CHILDREN TO THAT? Writing and reading comprehension is an absolute must. You need it no matter what you do. Geometry and Algebra are needed for everyday use. But Calculus? Chemistry?
Unless you are going into the medical field, culinary (cooking is chemistry), architecture, physics, engineering, etc Chemistry and Calculus are not so important that peoples lives are literally in your hands. If you build a skyscraper without having the math skills to build it safely…then you’re going to kill someone.
My point is this: these standard classes that are required for graduating should be made electives. And those electives students sign up for, like automotive class, home EC (school still have those), interior design, etc. should be looked at as standards.
Classes that students have an actual need for, things they’ll actually use in either everyday use or in their career, even just to see if that is something they want to do for the rest of their lives, should have more emphasis than forcing an artistic child to take chemistry.
But schools don’t do this. Why? Money. They do it for money.
Schools are paid through the government based on their overall student success rate and the amount of students in the school. The focus is no longer on educating the student but on passing tests to get more money.
And that makes absolutely no sense to me. I know a lot of teachers that are buying supplies for their classrooms out of their own severely underpaid pockets.
Where is all that money going? Why is it that money is always king?
Don’t Blame the Teachers, The Parents, or The Students
Listen close, because I’m going to tell you a secret.
If a child fails a class don’t blame the teacher. Blame everybody and then move on and fix the problem. There is always more than one factor when a student fails something.
1. The child didn’t study/didn’t ask for help
2. The teacher didn’t give him the help he needed/didn’t know he needed the help
3. The parent wasn’t there to help the student/has to work so much to keep a roof over the child’s head and too damn exhausted to help
4. Bullying/peer pressure/mental health/physical health
5. No routine/schedule/structure
6. Too many distractions/doesn’t feel the need to learn
All of these, some of these, none of these could be the problem. But it is never just one person’s fault.
With the cost of living rising and salaries at unrealistic levels, many parents are burnt out. They have to work 50 to 80 hours a week just to pay the bills (that doesn’t include groceries for some families), they work more than one job. Single parent families have to do the jobs of two parents. They are exhausted and are just too exhausted to help their student. They’re just trying to keep their child alive and healthy. But society blames them.
Students have to learn about the world around them. That means enduring pressure from every adult in their life, peer pressure, the need to be accepted and popular. They are bullied by at least one person in their life (that includes by adults), they suffer anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, just slews of mental disorders that they have no clue how to handle. There is the possibility of neglect and abuse in the home (abuse includes physical, mental, verbal, and/or sexual) and don’t know what to do in those situations. Students, kids in general, are in a bubble of WTF? And they are practically navigating the world alone trying to get by with the tools they ahve at hand. Students blame teachers and their parents.
Teachers are in the middle of parents and students. They go into teaching with such high hopes of being teacher of the year, helping every student that walks through their door, being loved. And then reality sets in. Students reject her help. She is the enemy. Parents blame her when their child fails. Students blame her when she can’t help them. Teachers can’t blame anyone. They know what the problem is.
Government officials set standards for public schools to gain funding, those standards being numbers of students in the school and passing grades. These government officials set these standards and tell teachers to follow through. And they have to or they will be suspended and/or fired. Teachers can’t give up but they get beaten down everyday but their students, the parents, their officials. The teacher who has given up is the one who passes out packets everyday. Her students don’t listen anymore. The parents don’t care. The officials don’t listen.What else is she supposed to do?
Step Up and Make the World Better
Everyone just needs a taste of life of everyone else. Students need to see how they treat their teachers. Parents need to sit down and figure out what is more important. And teachers need support of their officials and parents and students. We put our trust in teachers to educate our children, but it isn’t just their job to do it. It is our job as parents, as human beings, to make sure our children are prepared for life.
If you take the time to see education from someone else’s perspective, you can spot the problems and figure a way to fix it.
‘It takes a village’ is very real thing in this instance.
What are your thoughts on education? As a parent/teacher/student? Start a conversation in the comments below!