With all the measurement tools, all the bureaucratic standards, and all the money that is being spent on trying to make our schools conform to those standards, there is someone who is being forgotten. That person is the Kid!

With all of our educators in administrative positions, who have a string of degrees after their names, deciding what a “good education” is and how it should be delivered, the Kid becomes an empty box among (ideally) 24-29 other empty boxes to be filled with facts, figures, formulae, and basic technological skills. We try to stuff the Kid with what s/he needs to get into college, so s/he can be crammed full of more facts, figures, technology, and politically-correct  ideology, so that s/he can have a successful (i.e. lucrative) career.

When I was a Kid in school, I really didn’t need a grade to know if I was learning. I knew whether I understood what I was reading, whether I could spell or perform mathematical calculations. I knew whether I “got it” or I didn’t. And I wanted to learn. I was ready to let it in; my mind was open. I had high standards for myself, and I was embarrassed if I didn’t understand an idea, concept, or how to do something, and I would work until I did.

What does a Kid really need to know to prepare himself/herself for life? Not all of us want to be, or should be, doctors, lawyers, computer programmers, scientists, engineers, business leaders, or teachers. Some of us want to be nurses, cooks/chefs, auto mechanics, plumbers, farmers, electricians, craftsmen, policemen, and truck drivers. Still others may become talented artists, writers, musicians, or actors. The best of us get there under our own inner motivation–after we have learned the basics.
And what are the basics that every Kid needs to know?

  • Reading. writing, spelling, grammar, and basic math.
    History, geography, and government (including the Constitution.)
    Biology, chemistry, and physics.
    Art, music, literature, poetry, and world religions (including Christianity.)
    Practical skills like cooking, sewing (boys, too), personal finance, and home & car maintenance.
    Self-care like nutrition, hygiene, and exercise/sports.
    Computer skills are an important plus. and a necessary business resource.
  • A short course in survival skills would be good, too.

Some of these things used to be learned at home, but with both parents working in most familes, the Kid could grow up without knowing how to take care of himself properly if he isn’t taught in school. And that, I think, is the main priority of raising and educating a Kid.

What Kid wouldn’t want to learn all those things? Even with a basic education like this, delivered without any hidden agendas, a Kid can grow up to be a self-reliant, resourceful Adult, able to think for himself/herself, and will certainly not be an empty box stuffed with facts.


Author: b4i4get

I am a 68-yo retired Physical Therapist Asst. living in Texas. Currently I have ~5 dozen webpages, including 3 homepages, an e-novel, and 1 blog. I love cats, writing, and thinking about the big questions. I am also a singer-songwriter, though no one has heard of me--yet.

2 thoughts on “FAILING SCHOOLS? INCOMPETENT TEACHERS? Who is Being Forgotten Here?”

  1. I think ,also, the kids do not have enough homework-that is all part of learning: to concentrate ,to retain facts and discuss it in an open class forum.Also languages should be taught: travel is part of education often out of school; Europe is one of the popular spots to visit,I reckon French and of course the 2nd language of the US-Spanish.
    As you said-grammar,that goes with writing and maths.
    With texting and computers many cannot learn to read properly,let alone add up w/o the latter.
    I would also like to see discipline and respect brought into the class room-big joke that from what I have seen from the youngsters today.

  2. I have been told by college instructors that students entering their freshman year have to be taught to write [again], since many have used keyboards or printed for years.
    I was referring to a basic education in this rant. Many people in the US will never be able to travel to Europe to broaden their understanding of the world, but we now have excellent videos and almost worldwide communication through the Internet, which we old folks never dreamed of having when we were young.
    Yes, in this country, especially on the border and in large cities, learning Spanish as a child is much easier and will serve him all his life. But the way I was taught, for several years, using vocabulary, conjugations, and folk songs, somehow did not make me able to speak or understand Spanish. I did not have to USE it in my daily life.
    But I do know my multiplication tables, and I can write and spell.

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