Marriage, Insanity and School - A Blog for Principals and Teachers - School Matters | A Blog for Principals and Teachers – School Matters

 
 

Marriage, Insanity and School

 
 

 

 

iStock 000002201463XSmall Marriage, Insanity and SchoolLove: A temporary insanity curable by marriage. Such wisdom of the ages, penned by American wit Ambrose Bierce, can be easily adapted to learning as well. We might say, “Learning is a love affair of the intellect, significantly diminished only by constant exposure to school.”

As the summer months roll in, there is a palatable sense of excitement in the air. Students count the minutes until that final bell rings; quite different from teachers and administrators who count the seconds. I once heard someone say that schools are the only environment in which everyone in attendance would rather be somewhere else; OK, schools and graveyards. Of course there are notable exceptions, but the rule holds fast to such an extent that it behooves us to question if it really has to be this way.

While one could argue that children are simply too immature to appreciate the value of a good education, that would not seem to explain the extent of the phenomena. It also does not explain the fact that teachers welcome vacations, indeed need vacations, to an extent unknown in just about any other profession. When your vacation days start to rival those of the US Congress, you know you have some explaining to do. Why does it seem to be such a significant investment of effort for students to learn and for teachers to teach?

We could easily ignore the question. After all, teachers are teaching and students are learning. Educational programs more or less work and there are sufficient success stories to somewhat justify keeping current systems as they are. Historical precedent may even support the fact that this is simply the way it’s always been. Statements that compare speed of departure to a child running from the classroom can be found in literature dating to the first millennia. We are far from the first culture to suffer from crowded classrooms, disinterested students and burn-out teachers. So I guess I should rethink and wonder if we should bother asking this question at all.

I think we must ask, mostly because the price we pay for individual failure has risen significantly. Students who do not succeed in school cannot simply return to the farm. When a student drops out of school we are not sentencing them to a life of working the fields and milking cows, but largely to a life of poverty, crime and early death. Students who escape school run an overwhelming risk of losing in life. So, we must care, we must think of solutions.

As I have argued in previous articles, tinkering with the existing system would achieve little. The gulf between our current educational systems and what is needed to excite and inspire much of our youth is too great to be spanned with patch work solutions. New and possibly radical thinking is required. While we certainly do not want to reduce the love children have for summer vacation, we do want to nurture and develop within them the natural love they have for learning. Our future depends on it.

Share and Enjoy:
  • twitter Marriage, Insanity and School
  • linkedin Marriage, Insanity and School
  • facebook Marriage, Insanity and School
  • googlebookmark Marriage, Insanity and School
 

No comments

Be the first one to leave a comment.

Post a Comment


 

Educators Calendar Events

Featured Posts

The  SAT Controversy

The SAT Controversy

The news that the SAT’s will be modified to more appropriately accord with today’s high school academic experience has been met with both strong approval...

 
Charter Schools:  Bipartisanship Rises Up in Washington DC!

Charter Schools: Bipartisanship Rises Up in Washington DC!

 I was pleased to join Minnesota Congressman John Kline, chair of the House Education and Workforce Committee, as he announced new federal charter schools legislation...

 
Flipped Classrooms: Educational Revolution or Unrealistic Mistake?

Flipped Classrooms: Educational Revolution or Unrealistic Mistake?

  Hertz Furniture video blogger Mor Rossler discusses the flipped classroom. This style of teaching reverses the order in which learning and lessons are shaped....

 
Eliminating Racial Inequality in our Schools

Eliminating Racial Inequality in our Schools

 “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their...

 
Video: Inquiry-Based Learning vs. Direct Learning

Video: Inquiry-Based Learning vs. Direct Learning

  Should teachers serve primarily as presenters of predetermined material or facilitators of student-initiated learning? Hertz Furniture video blogger Mor...

 
Announcing the Launch of Hertz Furniture’s Educators’ Calendar of Events!

Announcing the Launch of Hertz Furniture’s Educators’ Calendar of Events!

If there is one universal fact of life for all teachers, it is this: teachers are busy! The list of daily tasks is seemingly infinite: marking papers, planning...

 
Charter School Growth for 2013-14: Celebration and Caution

Charter School Growth for 2013-14: Celebration and Caution

Guest Blogger: Ember Reichgott Junge The new numbers on growth of charter schools over the last year exceeded even my expectations.  The National Alliance...

 
Just Google it! Education in 2014

Just Google it! Education in 2014

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education” – Mark Twain Do grades matter anymore? According to one of the most influential companies...

 
A Modest Proposal: Pump Up the Homework*

A Modest Proposal: Pump Up the Homework*

America is in a state of crisis. It isn’t what you think. Yes, the country is polarized politically, and congress is earning some of the lowest approval ratings...

 
Open Door Policy? The Teachers Room and School Culture

Open Door Policy? The Teachers Room and School Culture

You can feel it the moment you walk into the building. Every school exudes a certain aura, an overall mood: it is the school’s culture. Some schools are warm...