Friday, July 8, 2011

"Imagination is more important than knowledge" -Albert Einstein

A few weeks ago one of my lovely friends shared a NY Times article with me, it was about the idea of school librarians being expandable and what steps some districts were facing. In my experience working with young children the most beneficial part of the day was reading. There is so much to each piece of literature for each child on a different developmental level. Books are so fundamental for building language and literacy skills, social emotional awareness, cognition, creative expression, etc.

When I read that librarians are next to go in these districts I felt empty, I imagined all of the faces of the children in the public school systems where we live. Over 40% of the parents in my town can’t read; who will these children go to now? I hate to say this, but the classroom educators in this district do not have the child’s best interest either as far as education is concerned, we pulled our son out of the school only six weeks into the year because his teacher was unwilling to work with his learning style and only preferred to reprimand him…

What I’m getting at is the sad issue of the school systems and some teachers not enjoying making a difference in these children’s lives. They are just happy they have a fulltime job that pays the bills. I’ve seen teachers criticize the children in front of the entire class; they exploit the child and make them feel shameful for being who they are. The public school system in my town is breaking children and it needs to change. The sad thing is the fact that this isn’t only happening in my town.

In my work as a mother and teacher I’ve been to many towns now observing and I see this behavior all over and I want to know, why don’t these children and families count anymore?? Whose idea was it to take the educational experience out of education? Why is pointless education forced today, I just don’t get it. These school systems are breaking children’s spirits not building their intelligence. Majority of children today are over medicated, malnourished- obese and lacking a passion for life. We are all here as educators to build their dreams, not cut out creative expression, take away books and eliminate physical activity during school hours.

We need to deprogram children and bring the experience back into the classroom! Children need to have hands on experiences with everything, especially literature! Children should have libraries with librarians to help guide them in the right direction. We shouldn’t be telling our children what to read, but allowing them to have their own say in what interests them. Build differentiated curriculums in every classroom to best suits each child’s needs without making them feel ashamed of themselves. Why don’t children and families count anymore?

Respect is a term that I can’t stress enough when it comes to children. Give them boundaries but respect how they feel and where they want to go in life. It’s so important and crucial to their development. Let them gain their own sense of direction and they won’t need you to stand behind them and tell them what to do all the time. Allow them the freedom to build their own dreams, but don’t take away their tools <3

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