I saw the headline—”Aiming to close the achievement gap”. I know what the words say, I’ve heard them thousands of times. But the picture with this story—handsome Kelvon Cook—is worth a thousand words about how schools become spirit killers, beginning this early. I see the bright and interested eyes of a child already being dulled by doing uninteresting things when he could be outside finding shapes, or playing some kind of game, working on a computer or reading a story with an elder about shapes or colors. But this is how it will proceed for the rest of his school life—boring, uninteresting, teacher-planned lessons about what adults think is important, inside of a school house unfriendly to his spirit, curiosity and intelligence. And when he emerges, curiosity and his bright beautiful eyes, will be emptied out, hollowed. To be sure, there will be a bright spot from time to time, but this is standard fare for many of our lovely children.
There’s no one to blame. Most educators I know are hard working people, interested in children’s well-being. Parents, too, mostly want what’s best for their children. I think maybe it is school boards, politicians, policy wonks, and a public attitude about “keeping taxes low” and not paying what is required, that may be to blame for a lack of an exuberant, exciting vision of learning . Until we collectively take responsibility for the capture and prosecution of our young and provide wonder filled places and experiences with and for them, we will continue to waste human potential and talent we so desperately need. And it breaks my heart!
Have a nice day!