Excellent thread, and a VERY important subject for people to understand. I think your insight as a former teacher is VERY valuable information...and I
applaud the personal hardships you endured to fight for our kids
I would like to share my personal observations of education in the last 30 years, and my daughters experience in the education system, she is now 21
yrs old. First I will give a brief overview of our family dynamics, we live in CA, middle class, a seemly peaceful environment to grow up in. My Mom
owned and was a pioneer of educational toys that encouraged creative and critical thinking and both myself and my daughter grew up with this
I did very well in school, went to a good college, and I liked school overall...but teachers were very different 40 years ago, we had all sorts of
vocational classes for kids that were more hands on, and classes geared toward kids that wanted to go on to higher education. We didn't have mounds of
homework heaped on us EVERYNIGHT, and the ultimate goal of the teachers was not to program us to pass these ridiculous tests they have now.
Now things start out well in pre-school, I enroll her in a co-op, with a wonderful teacher and basically a school run by the parents, LOL, to my
horror at the time, my daughter made it clear she wanted NO part of circle time at first and Miss Diane just calmed me down and told me to let her
join in when she was ready, and sure enough she grew to Love circle time on her terms...and I was told by her teacher she was very empathetic with the
other children, and she was VERY smart, she could already read and write more then most kids her age, and had good problem solving skills...she was my
first and only and I was proud and happy..
Then we start public school, again at first things went well, I volunteered alot, so I had a handle on what was going on, and she seemed pretty happy
and well adjusted. When she hit 3rd grade her teacher was a mean woman, she was rude and dismissive of the kids that tried to interact in her lessons,
and this was done in front of me while I was in the classroom....I ended going up to her privately and asking her basically "what's up with the
hostile attitude" she explains to me that because of this new "star" testing she needed to follow a strict agenda, and she didn't have time for silly
questions when her job was at stake if the kids didn't do well, she also was assigning outragous amounts of homework that really hurt the quality of
our family life in the evenings, and instead of enjoying learning, she was now starting to feel overwelmed by it.
Fast forward to 6th grade, she is starting middle school, which is way to early I think, it was 7th grade when I grew up, she was 11 years old being
put in a school with teenagers. Now they make it quite clear you are no longer welcome in the classrooms as a parent, pleny of fundraising jobs
She starts to become miserable, she happens to be an extra beautiful kid, and the boys were showing her attention she wasn't ready for,
and the girls were picking on her cause "thier" boys liked her...she was being harrassed and trying to cope, and not asking for help...she became
sullen and didn't want to go to school...being unaware at the time this became a big battle between her and I.
So in 7th grade I beg, borrow and steal to get her into a private school...this place is a GREAT school, but it is $15,000 a year and it is made very
clear they expect alot of volunteer and fundraising work from parents, I was the only Mom there that worked, and the class difference was a challenge
for both my daughter and I to overcome. I was told from the start by the principal after interviewing our family and her that once a kid has gone
through the public education system it is very difficult at this point to rehabilitate them. LOL, she was always the "rebel", especially about the
dress code, but she learned ALOT, and was happy through 8th grade.
Now comes High School, she decides she wants to go back to public school to be with her "neighborhood" friends in her final years of school, now this
is where all hell breaks loose.....I have this free thinking, very smart "rebel" and she absolutely was unwilling to conform, many of the teachers
hated her, and she had a few outright sadistic teachers that basically humiliated her if she challenged them....by 11th grade she was a contast
truant, NO matter what I did she was REFUSING to go to school, battles every morning, rushing to drive her to school and as soon as I drove away she
would leave school...I was being threatened with being arrested if I couldn't "control" my kid, so we did home school until she finally got her
Now at age 21 she is finally considering going back to school, lol, a few years working at target has "shown her the light"...she now wants to become
a nurse...she's a very caring person, but will give those doctors hell if she sees poor treatment or injustice..
edit on 6-9-2012 by
MountainLaurel because: (no reason given)