You’ve Got Mail, comes to mind. Tom Hank’s character puts Meg Ryan’s character’s bookstore out of business. You know the story, big bad business takes over the little guy.
What bothers me about this scenario, is that it is happening in our schools, in our classrooms, and in our conference rooms. FYI: EDUCATION IS NOT BUSINESS!!!! But, over and over again, I see this objective view in education.
Example 1: Students are human beings with personalities, likes, dislikes, and opinions, strong ones. So, why do we, as the educational system, reduce our children to numbers on a page, scores for the school to make AYP (adequate yearly progress). Children are labeled, sorted, re-sorted, and discussed to find the right mix, the right balance, so improvement can occur. I am all for personalized education, but it should be based on the needs of the student, not the system. Why do I have to explain to my students that I have to collect data about them, to prove I can teach? THIS IS PERSONAL, not business.
Example 2: Teachers are human beings with personalities, likes, dislikes, and opinions, strong ones. So, why do others, the system and administration, reduce me (since I am a teacher) to satisfactory or unsatisfactory. Why do I have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt why I decided for my students to create turtles instead of frogs? Why do I have to explain how creating pinwheels fits into my yearly scope and sequence? Why do I have to sit in a room with three administrators and listen to them tell me, all alone, that creative play in my classroom is “meaningless” because it is not assessed? THIS IS PERSONAL, not business.
I create turtles because I love them. Pinwheels are fun to make! Creative play is awesome and as a professional, certified art educator, in the state of Delaware, I should be able to choose what works and doesn’t work in my classroom! THIS IS PERSONAL, not business.
Education is personal. Education is about educating individual people to improve their futures and in turn improve the future of society. Individuals become teachers to share their love and passion for a wide variety of topics in the hopes of inspiring the next generation of artists, scientists, plumbers, engineers, and teachers. Research and data????? I guess it can be used in education, but it is not the end all, be all in education.
The end all, be all IN EDUCATION is happy, creative, empowered teachers teaching, inspiring, and pushing eager, engaged, willing students. Plain and simple. IT’S PERSONAL!!!!!!!!!