Whether we pay for it through taxes or fees, the education system is a service to us parents. Most parents, even if they can afford to stay home and be their kids’ teacher, would rather go to work and do something else. Although parents are the most important educators of their own kids, being a teacher is a whole different skill that would be unfair to expect every parent to master.
When we send our kids to school, we share an important part of parenting with others. Our kids spend 12 to 13 years of their life in the education system with other people who pass on their knowledge, values and attitudes to them. Sometimes, we can afford to choose these people directly, but often, we are bound by financial or geographical circumstances and we do not have much of a choice.
Parents pay directly or indirectly for the schooling service, so it is their right to express their thoughts and ideas about it. Schools around the world are starting to understand the importance of parents’ point of view on their philosophy and performance – parents are asked to complete surveys and invited to express their thoughts to help shape their kids’ second home.
In this part of Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss, I asked each blogger for their opinion of the education system.
What is your opinion of the education system?
Annie – PhD in Parenting
I am in Canada. We have a good public education system. There are things I love about it and things that I don‘t. We live in a very bilingual region (English and French) and what bothers me is that there are very few bilingual schools (the ones that do exist are all private schools). The public education system is split into English schools (where they teach you some French) and French schools (where they teach you some English). I think children stand the best chance of learning languages and enjoying diversity when different language and ethnic groups are mixed in one school.
Ria Sharon – My Mommy Manual
I think there are inherent flaws in the “system”, because it has to function as such. If you’ve read Dumbing Us Down, Gatto’s premise is that any time something becomes institutionalized, the focus is drawn away from supporting and nurturing the ideals it espouses to supporting the survival of the institution itself. Every child is unique – how their brains develop, how their personalities develop and how they learn – so to teach and test a curriculum, any curriculum, is guaranteeing that someone will not be served. Of course, the “system” will want to serve the most number of children possible but what if the one child who struggles is yours or mine or another child you care about?
Richard “RJ” Jaramillo – Single Dad
I live in California. No comment.
Sue Scheff – Sue Scheff Blog
Many struggle with the education system. Personally, my children attended private schools. It was a personal choice, although I do live an in area that has “A” rated schools, I wanted a smaller environment for my kids. On the other side of the coin, my sister’s children went to our public schools and did just as well as my children. I firmly believe that each child and family is different with different needs and expectations. There is always room for improvement in both private and public schools and I think slowly but surely, the education system is trying to keep up with the needs. In Florida, I have seen changes with specials needs and grants (such as the McKay Scholarship, which was not available when my kids were in school), however parents complain that still more is needed. My point is, I believe everyone is trying to make changes, but it all takes time and finances.
Susan Heim – Susan Heim on Parenting
That’s a pretty broad question as every education system is different! For the most part, though, I think that regular classroom experiences are best-suited for girls, not boys. I wish that all educators were required to take classes on how to help boys and girls learn best because their brains don’t function the same way. Also, I’d like to see curriculums that are less rigid in order to encourage more creativity in the classroom. I know that teachers are often as frustrated with the limitations placed on them as parents and kids are!
Annie Fox, M.Ed. – From the desk of Annie Fox
Here in the States, as is probably the case in every country, there is an enormous range of educational experiences a child may have, depending on the individual school philosophy (public or private not withstanding), the vision and leadership of the school administrator, the funding available to the school and the skill and compassion of the individual classroom teacher. So much variation! I will say this: unequivocally, every child, no matter where he or she lives, deserves an education that will support that child in reaching his or her fullest potential.
Maria Melo – Conversations with Moms
I think this depends on the geographical area, but from what I see, there are too many students per teacher. Teachers don’t have enough time to spend and tailor to each student’s needs. Also, school districts must focus on recruiting top talent and have incentives based on student’s performance, i.e. different pay for high performers.
I also believe that parents need to get more involved in the educational system and ask more questions with new policies.
Ronit Baras – Family Matters
We had a joke at the Special Education department that special education teachers always complain about the system (because they are special…). I think a school environment is the best place to give kids social skills and no mother or father, not even the best in the world, can be a substitute for that. However, I am not happy with the “one size fits all” approach of schools. I am not happy with striving for the average (because doing no more than the average is what brings the average down). I am not happy when the system tells me anything to do with my kids is not my business (Excuse me! I am the client here and these kids are mine!).
I think teachers start out with vision and believe they have one of the most important jobs in our society, but because it is such a demanding job with such little financial reward and so little recognition, too many of the good ones leave the system. Individually, it all depends on your kids’ particular teachers, so you are either lucky or you should push for this luck.
Join us next week when Ria, Richard, Sue, Susan, Annie Fox, Maria, Annie and I will share with your what drives us nuts.
Until then, we would like to encourage you to have a say in your kids’ education. Your involvement is important in shaping our society. You can use the comment box below and share your thoughts on the education system where your kids are spending many days of their life.
If you want to know more about them or contact any of the bloggers who take part in this project, please visit their blogs (linked above) and follow them on Twitter and/or Facebook. Alternatively, you can send them a question or comment through the comment box below.
This post is part of the series Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss:
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (1): Introduction
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (2): Parenting Challenges
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (3): Best Parent Qualities
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (4): Parenting Changes Life
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (5): Ideal Child
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (6): Education
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (7): What drives you nuts?
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (8): Discipline
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (9): Profound Parenting Moment
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (10): Parenting Tips
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (11): Government Policy Suggestions
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (12): Parenting Boys and Girls
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (13): Parenting Teens
- Top Parenting Bloggers Discuss (14): How to Keep Your Kids Healthy