There are some things in life that never change. A little girl pretending to be a big girl will proudly wear a pair of grown up red high-heel shoes. A large front yard will draw two boys, a bat and a ball every time.
Lately, I’ve been reading and listening to comments on the “State of Education” and students’ scores. At time I want to ask the evaluators, “Where is your passport? What are your credentials? How have you earned the right to determine where the focus should be?”
Many just look and react to problem situations. It doesn’t have to be education. It can be how to raise children, run a newspaper, be a Christian or play a game of football. They look from a distance and come up with all the pat, polite answers.
After teaching school for 32 years, let me assure you there is absolutely nothing polite about teaching school. It’s unpredictable and at times wild. It will grasp you and shake you; it will scream and roar at you; it will invade your heart and mind. Finally at the end of the day there is nothing left except the awareness you have dwelt among the living.
A college professor, an administrator, a governor, a member of the legislature, a parent or a taxpayer have never asked me, but here is what I think education and life is all about. Hopefully, this is my “blessed” conclusion.
Let me back up and SHOUT, “Education can not be captured and contained and completely analyzed by a standardized test score.” (Good thing I am retired or I might be fired!)
Education is all about discovery: discovering yourself, your world, your resources, you mind, your responsibilities, and your relationship to all of the above. This should never change. I applaud this “blessed declaration.”
Education is not primarily a list of should and should not’s, schedules and rules, fact and figures. (Just as Christianity is not only a list of thou shall and thou shall not.)
Children are by nature collectors.
Education should permit them to collect; to dive and quarrel over their treasures; to assort and deal with all the questions in their lives; to collect knowledge and to go beyond the surface of the knowledge to the application of it. This should never change. I applaud this “blessed” mandate.
Education should fill a child with wonder, anticipation and change. It should free him to think and catch a glimpse of what is beyond his horizon. It should not bore him nor make him feel cowed and fearful of failure; but secure in the knowledge of who he is and his worth and place in this world. This should never change. I applaud this worthy “blessed” goal.
I’ve really been standing on a soapbox today. But you know, in this negative up-side-down world of education we live in, there is a positive note to be head. It’s not all bad. As long as there are children, who come with their collection of discoveries, and teachers who show up to permit them to open them…we can always find the “Good” blessing to share and put on their papers and their lives.
May I remind you to stop hoarding His blessedness. It has to be given back to Him that He may make it a blessing to others in our workplaces, families and places of worship.