A Haiku - Education
More learning takes place surrounded by life, than within the walls of our schools, but good schools and teachers prepare their students for that learning.
Teacher teach me now,
That "more" I should know somehow.
Start my grander life:
How to choose my friends,
How to visit the world's ends.
How to speak when there.
What I should know soon,
To enjoy conversations
With people I meet.
To calculate sums,
To know of life's great hazards,
To read and reason.
To play, discuss, dance,
Appreciate and create,
Use logic, live well.
Tell me when I'm wrong.
Challenge me to be my best.
Help me want to learn.
Socrates had no modern building, no technological wonders, no encyclopedias, no films or microphones. Yet 2400 years after he was teaching, he is still regarded
In our modern day we call one level of education by the term "Continuing Education."
While surely education never stops short of death, we have what are called "schools of higher learning" whose students compete to be selected to the renowned schools with earned international reputations in the fields the students (and their parents) choose to pursue.
A current debate has persisted as to whether those same students (and their parents) should be able to compete for schools and teachers at our "schools of lower learning," our public schools, charter schools, and preparatory schools which might be advantageous to the students' futures.
At the crux of the debate is the popular desire that every student should have access to an outstanding educational system. In short "the best that money and taxes can buy."
While the debate over vouchers and the failure of so many schools continues, we must admit that our "outstanding educational system" is not measuring up to the best systems of other leading nations at the level which can have the greatest influence on the future success of our students.
For too many years past, the teaching professionals such a quality system must rely on, were poorly paid, overworked, and teaching to overcrowded classrooms with too many restrictions on how they could teach, and even on how they could maintain an optimum learning environment in those overcrowded classrooms.
Little has changed. The debate continues, and meanwhile we are literally "moving students through the system" who too often complete their K-12 educations unprepared to do the level of work we used to (and still do) expect from public high schoool graduates.
The world is moving on, into the fast-paced 21st Century, and America is leaving too many of its students behind. Those students are essential to America's future, and it is essential that every one of America's students be given the education they need to succeed.
The solution is simple and at the same time complex.
Know what goes on inside your local schools; get involved. You have a stake in the future, no matter your age or family status. Ride herd on school boards and legislatures. Demand to be informed about weaknesses and the proposals for improving public education, and vote when you can for progressive change and the forward-looking, goals-oriented efforts that can make a difference.
Right now the better school systems are (or should be) in fierce competition to hire and retain the best teachers and administrators. Hiring them isn't just about money. The best teachers want to be teaching where they can be most effective while earning a competitive salary and bonuses.
No teacher wants to have to teach in a dilapidated classroom, with poor supervision, and a non-supportive community. No teacher should be asked to.
You and I can make a difference. The overriding question is: will we get involved in America's future?
If not us, who?
If not now, when?
© 2014 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.