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Educating our children is the most important thing we can do!

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These were my beloved ‘kids’ all dressed up for their kindergarten graduation. When I taught at New Jerusalem in California, we had a complete graduation with caps and diplomas, and the kids sang nursery rhymes, which morphed into a Mother Goose dramatic production over the years. I would run into kids who were in high school, who would tell me, ‘I remember when I was the cat who played the fiddle. It was amazing the way they remembered those experiences. And I would argue that those experiences were every bit as important as their ‘test scores.’

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I loved teaching those little children and there was nothing more joyful than when they expressed wonder and mastery of the subject I was teaching them. It seems like classrooms have a certain feel no matter where you go. I have been out of the teaching profession for six years now, and sadly, I fear it seems much longer because of the enormous changes that have taken place. I remember one of the ‘buzz’ words when I was teaching was ‘realia.’ You taught the children by giving them real experiences. Somehow, it made a lot of sense, but now it seems to have been replaced with ‘testology.’

 

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We taught the children themes through the holidays, but now I believe holidays are not considered ‘politically correct’ whatever that means. I remember I retired relatively early because I didn’t like the direction the school system was headed. I had to ‘teach’ my kindergartners how to read and write and do math. While this was fine for those who were developmentally ready, for some, it was like putting a green banana in the oven and hoping it would ripen. I always felt Gesell, Erickson, and Piaget, child developmentalists from the seventies, were turning in their graves when I tried to force subjects on my kids that they weren’t ready for.

I had to test them, which was very traumatic for them. When they asked me questions, I told them I couldn’t help them. They didn’t understand that concept because I was their teacher and that was what I was there for, which pretty much made sense to me. I just hope that the educational system will put the teaching back into the hands of teachers who are trained to ‘teach’ and take it away from politicians who are trained to–well I’m not quite sure what some of them are trained to do! We could all fill in the blank like good students, I guess.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Bren

 

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