Wow, I'm really sucking at this consistancy thing aren't I?
Finished a full six-day stretch of teaching at the same elementary school last week. Some great experiences, some horrific. I don't get it, so much variance in behavior and personality between classrooms. Even at the tender age of 7 or 8, there are some kids don't care in the classroom. When I say don't care, I mean does-not-care. They are worry-free of the consequences of their rude, insulting and disruptive behavior, to say nothing of wanting to learn and do well in school.
It all begins at home, that is where children gather their opinions and perceptions and purposes of school and life before they reach school. Parental influence is huge. Does anyone actually read to their kids anymore?? How about helping them with their homework at night?
News-flash: the TV is NOT A BABYSITTER.
Another point, which I should elaborate on, this is in an urban school district. The urban school district from which I received my education. Now, I came from an very educated and socially active family background, where good grades and a college education were the expectation. There are plenty of those students in this school district. However unfortunatly, there are even more who are from the opposite background, increasingly so. So it can stand to reason that if one's parent's don't have a higher education, the chances of the offspring not seeing the value of an education is higher than usual. Again, however, there are wonderful exceptions to this rule! I happen to know one of these exceptions. Parents had no college education, but she graduated top in her class and she was the first of her family to attend college and is on the verge of graduating. The quintisential American story.
What I am really trying to boil my point down to is to the worst factor. The parents who have no interest in their child's life or advancement, and it results in an absent-minded young person. As sad as it is, it exists. The real victims here are the kids. By the time school starts, they are disadvantaged. By the time middle school comes around, they have no concept of the value of an education, let alone respect for peers, adults, or authority figures. By the time they are in high school, no one gives them any hope or chance. They are already failures in the eyes of others, and worst of all, in their own. The mindset is "It doesn't matter so why care or try?".
Where is the intervention? There's no money for it. The challenge ahead is so daunting that the current system can not even begin to touch the issue. We need massive reform and funding to help this situation. But apparently we'd rather spend $10 Billion a month to fight a pointless war in Iraq than help educate our youth.
We can't babysit everyone's children and raise them for you. The mindset of parenting in these situations has to be changed....and how do we do THAT?!?!
God Bless and fight the good fight...