MyAn Open Letter to Our Educational System

 

Who among you decided the only thing that needed to be taught in school was whatever got kids to pass a standardized test? I don’t bribe my kids with money for them to get good grades, why does the government do it to their schools and teachers?

Speaking of government, it’s called separation of church and state for a reason. Everyone please sit down, take your hands off your hearts, and quit making children pledge their life to a flag under a god.

Did you know the more well rounded and healthy adult employees are the ones who are socially competent with good communication skills, not the ones who only strived for a 4.0? My kindergartener spent one hour a day last year after school doing her homework. They required her to be able to read and write before Christmas Break. Education isn’t just about what the mind is capable of enduring at an early age. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. They have the rest of their lives to fall in line with the system, make purposeless play a priority.

Conflict resolution can be learned by two princesses fighting over the same cardboard castle. Teamwork can be taught by joining together to take down the fire-breathing dragon. Create opportunities for each of them to be heard individually, paid attention to, and seen for WHO they are. They are more than the jobs you are trying to groom them for.

Let them dance, draw, paint, mold, glue, glitter, mess, and sing. Teach them breathing techniques when they are angry. Let them wear a tutu over a dress that’s worn over their shorts! Ten hair accessories is perfectly perfect, kid, accessorize! Tell them all the time that they are beautiful inside and out and let them wear the makeup anyways. It’s called self expression.

The only kind of attention we should be paying to what children wear comes in two forms; the kind that lets them know things like when their shoe comes untied so they don’t fall on their face playing or the kind that says things like “those zebra shorts, neon green shirt, pink vest, and black tap shoes DO make one rad outfit”

If a child asks you “why” your answer had better not be “they’ll explain it when you’re older” and especially avoid “that’s just how it’s always been done.” Quit making them mimicking machines that only mirror what’s been memorized.

Teach them the truth, for once. George Washington has a near-perfect record for retreating or losing at every battle he ever fought. Aristotle said females were just incomplete males. John Wayne said that he believes in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. How can we teach our children not to repeat the past if we aren’t honest about what it looks like? White washed and sexist.

 

And when it IS time to buckle down and start learning how to adult, where’s the hands on? There are 7 learning styles and only one curriculum. Children should shadow real people at real jobs; accountant, zoologist, it doesn’t matter take it for a test drive.

 

Classrooms should teach kitchen sink repair, lawn mower maintenance, car care, budgeting, and babies beyond a doll with a magnet on its back to shut it up. Put condoms in a bowl at the nurses’ station in high schools. Quit giving kids cavities and give them real sex education. Put self-defense lessons in gym class, have conversations about what to do and why you’re doing it. They’re children. Still people. They understand.

It’s not that I think these things are only your responsibility; it’s that my kids’ attendance is mandatory, you know, like at the job I have to go to every day. I just hope one day we can get together and play princesses, take down the fire breathing dragon, and do better for our kids.

I promise it’ll be easier than teaching common core math.

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