Woe Nellie…Slow Down

As an educator, I have been on a wild run-away horse ride for at least 15 years.  Every year someone comes out with the latest and greatest method of teaching.  It is the miracle elixir that will make children want to learn.  Guess what people?  It hasn’t worked yet, and will never work. Kids will be kids.  They want to have fun.  They don’t want to sit in a desk for six to eight hours and study math, science, history, and literature.  Would you?  I would rather be outside running, skipping, jumping, singing, playing, digging in the dirt…It doesn’t matter how we try to disguise education, it is still education.  Kids get this.

Because our students were not doing as well as “they” wanted, the national government took over.  Obviously, they knew more because they have done such a great job with America!   No Child Left Behind left almost all children behind and Common Core/Race to the Top hasn’t been any better.  The one area that I agree with is that every school in every state  should be teaching the same curriculum.  The problems I have come after that.

How we teach and the speed we teach/learn must change.  First, and foremost, we need to slow down.  The current curriculum is so crammed full of unnecessary “stuff” that the children are not learning the basics.  Sometimes, less is more.  Let’s make sure our children can read, write, and do basic math on their level before we move on.

Next, let’s update our curriculum to today’s and tomorrow’s needs.  All schools, including colleges, need to be asking what the businesses of today and tomorrow need.  I, personally, am getting tired of trying to help my children reach college’s antiquated needs, instead of the 21st Century needs and beyond.  In my first 15 years in the business world, not one company asked me about Shakespeare, or even needed me to know that information.  They didn’t ask me how to solve one algebraic equation either.  Look, I know that these subjects teach us problem solving and life skills/empathy…, but I did not know how to write a proper letter, address an envelope, use basic math to solve equations.  To be perfectly honest, those subjects didn’t really teach me problem solving or life skills either.

Maybe we should add philosophy, debate, math for real life, business writing, civics, a class on problem solving…What do you think?  What classes should we have to prepare our children for future business and life?



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