I felt the need to share my feelings about teaching with you good people because it is easier than taking off a day and going to a therapist.
I hate teaching.
If someone said that they were placing their newborn baby in a program that would teach them how to sit up, and walk, it is most likely that the person to whom they are speaking would question the logic and patiently explain that sitting up requires the development of many skills that the newborn acquires day by day over the first four to seven months of life. From the first wobbly head lift off the mother's chest, to rolling over, sitting up is a detailed process which is best not to rush or intervene during the period of normal development.
The same applies to walking, talking, and all the other milestones associated with the first two years of life. Impatient new parents are reminded that children develop at their own pace and that they will one day sit up, roll over, talk, walk, etc.
However, when it comes to education, the development of the child is not taken into account. Somewhere in a dusty or not so dusty office, someone is making decisions that are based on neither science or rooted in common sense and marketing them to educators and parents as a cure all for the deficits in the American education system, and time after time their methods and curricula are "sold" then pandered off on another generation of children who with each passing year perform worse than the year before.
I really hate teaching.
I was told that children learn to read by reading. That if you place a book in front of a child they will learn to read. Of all the things I have been told, that by far is the most ridiculous.
A few weeks ago, at a PD for our writing curriculum educators, I was told, along with a roomful of others, to grade artwork (writing) based on our ability to recognize common features or the use of standard colors. For example, did the child color the elephant gray or pink. Is the ability to view the world through a singular lens the standard by which we judge children?
Last week I gave the smartest child in my class a grade of "N", technically he should have received a "U", but we aren't giving grades below an "N" during the first nine weeks because the children are still "learning", because he only recognizes the upper case and lower case X. He is five. FIVE. 5. FIVE years old. I gave a five-year-old who can describe to me how to make letters, an N. He does not "Need Improvement", he just needs to learn, and to be honest why does he need to learn now.
He has an emotional intelligence and maturity that makes me want to sit down with him over a cup of coffee, or milk, and ponder what makes the sky blue, or why does play dough smell salty. When I am not forcing this wiggly, energetic, child, who someone would probably want to dose with methylphenidate, to do some academic foolishness, he can sit for extended periods of time drawing, or playing with manipulatives in a way which they are not intended, building things that might inspire a career in architecture or engineering, but instead I have return to my reality. I ring a stupid bell and ask my children to come to the carpet so that I can teach children who can't speak a grammatically correct sentence how to write a book. Faulkner, Morrison, and Dickens wouldn't hardly approve.
I truly hate teaching.
Nothing is worse than having twenty children tell you that they want to play, or go back to daycare, and all that you can do is tell them to take out their social studies books, WHY DO KINDERGARTEN CHILDREN HAVE HARDBACK SOCIAL STUDIES BOOKS. What genius orders a book for a group of children who learn by doing, that they can’t write in. WHO DOES THIS?? Why do they even need social studies books, or science books. THEY CAN’T READ!!!!
How many picture books or storybooks could be purchased for the price of one textbook?
Instead of teaching through play, I spend my day forcing round, square, and other shaped pegs into mismatched holes, and walk away feeling even angrier and more defeated than then day before.
I think that this is day 35/180, and I truly have no idea as to how I will make it until May. I see myself as no greater than a criminal, because I am helping to rob children of something they will never regain. Their childhood.