First off, allow me to apologise for the fact that this is not the originally scheduled post about Hijab. I will still be posting on that topic; it has merely been postponed for a couple of months. I decided that, what with everything happening in my life right now, I just don’t have the time to do the topic the justice it deserves. Sorry to everyone who was wanting to read it, but I’m sure you would prefer to wait a while for a decent post than to have me post a sub-par blog on time, right?
So, what has been going on with me, myself and I? My life is not an exciting one, but it is mine, so it is what you are stuck with, I’m afraid. Continue reading →
Dear America, I am writing to express my concern over the direction in which you seem to be heading. You used to be ‘the home of the brave, the land of the free’, the cool kid who the rest of … Continue reading →
Well, it’s that time of year again. Our kids have just returned to school, we’ve been issued with school lists and our kids are bugging us not to buy the same old generic stuff. So here is a list of … Continue reading →
The professor was delivering the last lecture of term. ‘The examination papers are in the hands of the printer,’ he concluded. ‘Now, are there any questions you would like answered?’
Silence prevailed for a moment. Then a voice piped up, ‘Who’s the printer?’
— Herbert V Prochnow & Herbert V Prochnow Jr. in Jokes, Quotes & One Liners Volume 2
Tommy did not seem to understand subtraction, so the teacher tried to make it plain with the following example:
‘Now, suppose Billy had fifty pence,’ said the teacher.
‘Yes’m,’ said Tommy.
‘And you asked him for twenty-five.’
‘How much do you think Billy would have then?’
‘Fifty pence,’ said Tommy with a discouraged look
— Herbert V Prochnow & Herbert V. Prochnow Jr. in Jokes, Quotes & One Liners Volume 2
I believe that boredom is a side-effect of the conventional school approach. In school, children are taught not to do what they feel like, and not to act on a sudden creative impulse or idea. Instead they are expected to just sit and listen. Then, on weekends and school vacations, they can feel overwhelmed by the large amount of time suddenly available to spend on things they actually like. They might not even remember what most interested them.
School always appeared to me like a prison, and I could never make up my mind to stay there, when the sunshine was inviting, the sea smooth, and when it was such a joy to run about in the free air, or to paddle around in the water.
…it is our responsibility as teachers to have in our classrooms what the children need, to make a rich and varied environment for them to live, learn and grow in. ‘The school won’t let me get anything’ is not an acceptable alibi for barren and dreary classrooms.
Supporting powers is, of course, exactly what we do not do in most schooling. We do not give children extra time to work at what they like and are good at, but only what they do worst and most dislike.
“One of the things adults do, and above all in schools, is invade, in every possible way, the lives and privacy of their students. There are master keys to the students’ ‘lockers’ in schools, so that administrators may search them any time they feel like it. There are almost no places in most schools where students may talk together. The whole hair battle, which some schools, thank goodness, have given up, was only a way of saying, ‘Nothing about you is yours, everything about you is ours, you belong wholly to us, you can withhold nothing.’ And I think with deep regret and shame of the times when I, like millions of other adults, scolding a child or ordering him about, have said, ‘Take that expression off your face!’ It seems now an extraordinary and unforgivable crime against the human person, the human spirit.”
“Reading about the pathetic state of public education, we grow teary-eyed for the age of the ‘Little Red Schoolhouse’ – completely unaware of the deplorable conditions of nineteenth-century classrooms (according to one authoritative source, ‘a survey of Brooklyn schools in 1893 listed eighteen classes with 80 – 100 students; one class had 158′).”
~ Harold Schechter in ‘Fiend: The Shocking True Story of America’s Youngest Serial Killer’