Saturday, August 10, 2013

Back to School

I saw this blog, by Glennon Melton of Momastery, and I felt compelled to respond to the ridiculous comments left by so many careless readers, and, I fear, non-reflective parents.

Thank you, Glennon, for voicing the importance of the school experience for middle class children. You see, I'm a high school teacher by trade. (Top 2% in US, great school, great rep, no, this doesn't reflect the general attitude of the school or district, blah, blah, blah.) And, I have been, for going-on eleven years. Now that my daughter is (almost) ready for preschool, I have realized a number of things about "education" here in America.

Namely, I have learned:
-Our (probably upper) middle class kids are going to succeed even if we don't encourage it.
-Our (probably upper) middle class kids are going to be mean to another kid at some point even if we don't encourage it.
-Our (probably upper) middle class kids MUST be held accountable for their relationships if they are to be successful beyond the status quo. After all, it's not what you know, but whom.

The comments on Melton's post were mostly positive, but there were a few cutthroat "Why aren't you more concerned about their well-being... blah blah blah" posts than sits well with me. What the hell is wrong with people?!

The reason schools exist is to prepared our babies for the future. The future is NOT about competition through academics. It IS about intra- and inter- personal relationships. Get a grip. Your uber-competitive kid with all the right math skills is going to flounder when he or she finds that he/she is a complete asshole with no personal life to speak of.

If you truly want your kid to succeed in life, maybe try stepping out of the arbitrary construct you've created for yourself. Or, in other words step outside of that box you're living in. None of us, myself the least, are "right" most of the time (if any of it). Allow for failure, but strive for exceptional success in our child's peer-to-peer interactions, and keep in mind: we must exist in the world they create, in only a few years.