I love public schools. I believe one of the fundamental goals of society should be to have an educated population. I also believe that having trained teachers is the best way for students learn. There are other ways to teach children that may or may not work however for most Americans the only option they have to educate their children is by sending them to public school.
With that being said public education is a system and every system has problems, public education is no exception. Our system has failed students of color students, students in the LGBTQIA community, as well as students from low socioeconomic status. Bullying has been an accepted practice that has led to numerous students taking their own lives as well as losing their sense of self-worth. This is not acceptable! The school-to-prison pipeline is real and proven. Students drop out at an unacceptable rate and we focus more on test scores than the students we should be serving.
I do not look at public education with rose colored glasses. There are teachers who are on power trips who care more about students complying than how the students feel in their class. There are administrators more worried about policies than the success of their students in life. Some of our students are leaving public education unprepared for the world outside of school and even then some will graduate college with a degree and no hope of a job.
In today’s world homeschooling, unschooling or private schools are unattainable for most parents. Students are forced to go to school and take classes they may not be interested in. This puts students in a very precarious situation where they have no other option but to attend a school that is coercing them to do things they’re not interested in.
Politicians and corporations have taken over school systems. We now hold children accountable for a test that they may or may not have any control over. The corporations are making billions of dollars while our students suffer. The worst part is those politicians were elected by the same people who went through public school.
If you do not agree with what I’ve written above there is no reason to continue reading this thank you for your time. If we agree with the above statements about how school is failing some of our students, you may be asking me why do I have such an undying love for public education when it has harmed so many students. My answer to you is that a free education for all children is still one of the most beautiful ideas that we have dreamt of. In my opinion, there is no better alternative out there that can serve the masses.
I am using my sphere of influence to make the days brighter for my students. Through student voice and my guidance, my students find a Goldilocks zone (thanks for that line Jorge) where the joy of learning and movement are created and fostered. Other teachers have my same philosophy and are doing the same things all across the country. We can push back this pendulum of harm and create a system where students look forward to being participants and creators instead of being suspended or told they are dumb because they aren’t reading at a certain level yet.
I’m lucky to be in the state where we have a harassment intimidation and bullying policy that does not allow students to be put in positions where suicide is their only option. I work in a school that value students as people and not just test scores. I am not naive to think that this is the way it is done across America. I also understand that I work in a fairly affluent School District. The privilege this affords me and my school is immense.
My use of social media shows The Good The Bad and The Ugly of Education. I do not think that constantly bashing or pointing out only the negative about public schools is going to change anything. I choose to use my sphere of influence and show how we can make changes within the system. The key to making those changes is to get in leadership roles or work for leaders who have the same philosophy as myself. I have met numerous of them both in person and online and I hope that one day I will be in a position where I can make these changes within the system. There is nothing wrong with pointing out where the system is breaking down and harming our students, however, all we do is point that out and don’t ever find waste change this and all we are doing is yelling in the wind.
Education needs reform. Students do not have access to a fair and equal education. School is still run from the top down instead of the bottom up. Children have little to no say in how their education is run when they are the ones being impacted the most. My goal is to be the change within the system instead of just shouting about how bad it is.