The question recently came up about our current education system. Do we even need it anymore?
The answer was not in the way that it currently is. We all know it’s failing and this isn’t about that. It’s about what we can do to actually fix it and learn in a new way or maybe not new but a different way than what is currently happening.
Let’s face it, everyone is fed up and most of us just throw up our arms. Or we sit still and almost hold our breath until our own children are out of the system. We just don’t know what to do.
So here we go.
Any school can see how their leadership is by looking at their worst student. That student is a direct reflection of the style of leadership at the top.
I propose that all wages of teachers, principals and superintendents be cut in half. The remainder balance of the salary will be earned after being reviewed by students, colleagues, parents, principals and superintendents according to their performance.
All of whom must interact on a regular basis. Never ever assume that those who are in charge of X, Y and Z are doing the job you think they are suppose to be doing. You too must be accountable. The principals, and superintendents must be known by name by each student and parent; just as much as the teacher.
They need to be examples of leadership. No more just telling your staff what to do and you do something different. I believe each staff member from teacher up should be paid through a review system. It’s how the rest of the world works. If your performance doesn’t measure up then you do not get rewarded. It’s really that simple.
If you’re a teacher who teaches for the love of the students then this will be no problem. If you have an issue with it then your work ethic is off. Also, staff must be fully supported. A leader must set the outline and follow it too. That way, everyone will know the limits and know that they are being supported.
We are believing that our students are out of control then so to is the leadership.
A child must know the rules, for these are in place for everyone’s safety and efficiency, but also to let the child know that someone cares.
This will cause a huge discomfort but what else is there? Aren’t we already past the discomfort stage?
The way the system is currently is not working and people are fed up. Enough.
We do not need another peer group. Enough with the committees. BS. We do not need anymore stats. Pulling the results and gathering data only prolongs what needs to happen. Enough.
Schools and the system has been around for a very long time. If you don’t know what it takes already, you haven’t been paying attention and that’s what has happened. The data collectors and meetings etc. are just pretend fillers to calm the current concerns. To make you believe that they care and are doing something about it. At least until those staff members move on, retire or your child changes school. This is what’s always happened and then the “storm” leaves. Another one rolls in and they start all over again.
Violence in our schools is at an all time high, and not just school shootings. Teachers are now suiting up for battle daily. Needing to wear protective armor to shield themselves from violent attacks. They are being abused and not being supported by their leaders. And no, this is not about a “difficult” teacher. (That’s what society labels a woman who stands up for herself) They’d prefer for the staff member to go on a leave and then be transferred. That’s been the method of school boards to “fix” the violence problem.
It’s not working.
Parent’s are upset. They want better for their children. Bullying is everywhere. It’s a cry for help, they just want to be seen.
But what happens? Nothing. We want numbers in our schools. We want the money. We want our children to go to a great school. We want our children to be happy.
Right now it’s an endless cycle of fulfillment.
We’ve traded our humanity in for money. And yet we’re still standing here waiting to be seen and the money? Well, we never see it because it never sees us. We must start to value people more than money. It’s the only way we can make any real change.
Now, if we must keep the current school system, meaning the school structure with teachers and classrooms and grades, and I think we do, because it’s the only socialization we do in person anymore, there must be accountability. I still say cut everyone’s salary in half and start at the top. Think about it, where else other than the education system, can you start a brand new job and get thirteen weeks holidays on day one.
We, the people, pay with our taxes for the system. We should be able to have something that works.
If I am not happy with the service I get anywhere else I can demand my money back. Why not here too?
Accountability, a real staff meeting where superintendents must get to know their staff. All of their staff. Bring back caring. Principals must be great leaders, an outline must be followed and supported.
Now in the actual classrooms, allow the teachers to bring their passion. Everyone has a hobby, a passion etc. Teachers should work with a health and safety inspector, and a designer to transform the classroom to reflect their passion.
An example of this would be a teacher who has a passion with knitting or car racing, or sports or gardening. The whole classroom would be decorated and set up for each student to be able to participate in this activity. This is something that the teacher loves to do and because he/she loves it, they will be excited and want to share it.
A child will be glued to anyone who’s excited about something or at the very least have their curiosity sparked. The teacher will be excited to come to work and to share.
All subjects can be taught through any passion.
With the above example, you can teach each subject through this passion. You can teach math, history, art, science etc. and with passion.
An inspired, supported, curious, human (child / adult) will learn more and come home feeling fulfilled and happy.
Imagine a school filled with teachers (adults) who are all excited about what they do. Each classroom is filled with a passion that looks more like a field trip or a group project.
The most fun I can ever recall from my own education was that of a field trip or class project.
The student’s work displayed out of the classroom into the hallways for others to see what’s going on, and to really have pride in it. Explosions of passion, and a sense of wonder. It then begins conversations among their peers, and an excitement grows.
After all, isn’t that what childhood should be all about?
And soon you will have happy students, supported teachers, principals are able to have fun again instead of always being the disciplinary figure and superintendents will want to be a part of the change too.
Soon the numbers will grow because parents will brag and families will be changed.
This is changing our future. Not only does the passion filled classroom teach our kids the essentials but they are also being introduced to something new. Something they may never have been able to experience before. Learning to think outside the box again. Putting people first. That anything is possible. We can be different. Let’s start today.
I find it interesting and scary of being in this time of history with all the different ways of sharing with each other that we still haven’t figured out what works and what doesn’t.
To learn while having fun, why not?
And it can still be done, while supporting everyone and keeping everyone safe.
Enough. You are enough and you are worth the change.