About two years, I started to question one of the largest systems in the US. The educational system. A system that made my kid ill and he asked to come home.
Even though, I am a teacher I began to question what was happening, the standards, the testing, the rigor?, the whole entire thing way before he cried homeschooling.
I remember one-day teaching and saying what am I doing right now.
Does this even matter? Is what I am saying actually mean anything to my students next year or even later in life? What’s the point of education?
Massive questions started pouring out of me as I stood in front of a middle school class as I taught Chinese history/ culture.
Seriously, what was I doing?
Literally, I had them watch a video, complete a worksheet, and announce in two days there will be a test on what we just went over.
Why watch this video?
Why complete the worksheet?
Why? Why? Why?
Of course, the kids listened. Some of them did. Others didn’t. Most did a half-assed attempt and others just copied then chatted with their friends.
They didn’t care.
What a waste?
But at least, the lesson hit a mysterious standard that someone in an office designed and I was following.
But why that standard?
Why in 6th grade this lesson must be taught?
Why in high school do we repeat many of the lessons in middle school?
Why do we do what we do?
Because that’s what we are told to do and as sheep, we (teachers, parents, admin) follow the ignorance and never question the logic. I know you will hate that statement. But it’s totally true (legit)!
Maybe some educator or parent will voice their discontent, but it typically remains in the teacher’s lounges or in a home and nothing changes in education.
Like why do kids continue to go to school at early times when research has shown that kids should go later so they can access more sleep?
Sadly, I have heard that early start time is based on sport schedules. Really? And it has always been that way.
Do we value sports over our kid’s sleep and their ability to perform in schools?
That’s crazy talk, but it’s totally valid and da truth.
I know kids have written reflective essays on this, argued for later starts and still education mandates early to rise time schedules ignoring students’ demands.
So, why am I writing about all of this because I fought the system and discovered many secrets and I strongly feel how we (society) are living is making us feel not enough, mentally unwell, and surviving to keep our head above water and that’s not cool! And I believe we can change all of this by connecting research, hearing stories and looking to experts who are willing to take a risk and make a stand for this generation.
I never really believed in myself but one mom recently said to me, Wow, you have information that I was never privileged to.
So, I am taking this all on. But I know there are others fighting the fight so I am dedicating my summer to drive to find these amazing people actively questions, connection ideas and attempting to solve problems.
Come with me on this journey to ask tough questions about today’s youth, discover what we can do better, and how we make this world a healthier place for all of us even if it means disrupting systems that we have always just accepted.