March 12, 2011

Rant, Rant, Rant, Rant

Beware, I'm gonna get on my soapbox here. What? Oh, I never got off it? I forget that sometimes, but you're probably right.  When I started this, my goal was to stay away from anything related specifically to education. Not because I don't have a million opinions about it, but because this is supposed to be NOT that. Well, mama tried. I'll try to keep it brief. Try.

Here's my bitch:  No Child Left Behind wants all kids to be 100% proficient in reading and math, which is a great goal. Tennessee students have to pass the ACT's College and Readiness Test to graduate.  Reality, however, is far from that.  I know there are people who will suggest I be burned at the stake (and it's not just my husband's ex-girlfriends!) or at the very least fired because I don't "believe in the children" or some crap like that.  Truth is, I believe in them 100%.  I believe they can be what they want AND what they are capable of being.

What I want someone who votes these great idealistic dreams into law to realize is that some of the kids I teach aren't college material or have no desire to go to college. They are great kids, but they don't want to be a mathematical genius sitting in a white room solving equations or the CEO of some gigantic company. They want to install the heating and air unit in your home and coach their kid's Little League team.  I know the kids need to know how to read, write, and do math. That's truth. What the hell does that have to do with making every single kid a college student? Is it so wrong, so disgraceful to be *gasp* a graduate of a trade school or something other than four-year college? Think the garbageman is a lowly, disgraceful job?  Imagine if he stopped coming.  

Now, my dad is a pretty wise and common sense kinda guy, but he was raised by damn near the wisest (not in a mafia kind of way) man I've ever known: his dad.  Big Artie was born and raised in New York and was a teenager during the Great Depression.  He told my dad he could be whatever he wanted to be, a rocket scientist even!  But, and that's a big but, you couldn't plan on what the economy would be so you had to plan for a back-up career. No matter what happened, according to him, people would always need plumbers, electricians, and mechanics.  Amazing the foresight, huh?
My thought is this:  There is nothing wrong with being just the electician or HVAC guy/gal. The point is to be the best whatever it is you want to be. Be honest. Have a moral/ethical compass.  Show up on time and don't cheat people.  Do the job right ~ the first time. If you give your word, follow through.  Just be the best damn whatever it is, no matter how seemingly unimportant. That would be a good start. 

1 comment:

  1. Amen, sister. Seems like the focus on testing well could create an environment that kills creativity and critical thinking. -Mo