We’re not parents yet, but building a strong educational foundation for our children is heavy on my mind. Education, more importantly exposure to educational opportunities, has been important to me for a long time. My parents are educators, but being hands-on in the classroom wasn’t my calling. Nevertheless, I fully accept the challenge and responsibly of being my children’s first teacher.
Our city recently voted to increase property taxes to have revenue for the school system. These funds are planned to go toward bringing back music and art programs in elementary & middle schools, as well as expanding the career academies that have been started at the high schools. This is a good thing. We plan to provide music, dance, art lessons, etc., for our children according to their interests already. However, not every family has the means to do the same. If not exposed to these opportunities at school, many students would never get that experience…or not until later in life. Sure some people pick up on skills easily, but we all know that the earlier you start in life the better you can be! Why should students have to wait until high school to be exposed to the arts, foreign languages, and career path options? They shouldn’t.
Home should be the primary source for a great educational foundation. Let’s be real though. Since that’s not always an option, we must do everything we can to help our schools gain the necessary tools to cultivate our community’s youngest minds.
Building a strong educational foundation is very important. I could go on about early childhood development and all that but I know HER has covered a lot of that already. I will say that early education is more than just the learning abc’s and the like. It’s a combination of all a child’s experiences. I know growing up in “the country” I learned a lot of useful things that didn’t come from the traditional books. I learned more than I remember, let’s just say that.
One of the biggest of these was self-reliance, which has gotten me through a lot of things. I honestly hate that, besides vacations and holidays, my kids won’t get that full dose the way I did. I know living in the city will bring its own set of experiences that the kids will learn from but it will be different. So I will impart as much of that on them as I can and leave the rest up to the future grandparents.
Something that will be more challenging to that early development will be the schools in the system. I went to a small school and the teachers knew my parents and even grandparents so I knew there was at least one teacher who would always be able to get direct information back to the correct disciplinarian. That was good and bad at times, however I received a quality education so it’s fine now. In college I went back home to watch my sister play basketball at my old school and thanked a teacher for being so “hard” on me. Back when it was happening I thought she was just being a pain and evil (among the nicer words I can use) but now I can truly appreciate it. The school system my kids will face has its troubles but there are bright spots, and they are not always the school board itself.
I recently voted to give some funding to the school, but found myself torn between the poorly worded tax increases for funding. With no legal assurance the money would be used for school programs as board members suggested versus administration overhead I decided to say yes. I want to support the schools, but more importantly I want a quality education for my kids; so I look at it as supporting the school system kids until my kids are in that system.
I have heard about is this “new math”, which I won’t comment on today but will say I’m not a fan. I am also worried about how history will be talked about in school. History is one of those subjects where a lot of times the people who get to tell it aren’t always interested in the whole truth, just what they want to include, so that will be something that I will push early on.
In the end I just want my children to “respectfully” challenge the thoughts, ideas, facts and information that they learn. When they are able to do that I will know they have a true understanding of what they are learning, and they will be all the better for it.