Everyone knows that i have some serious doubts about our public education system in Georgia. I just don’t have a lot of faith in it, but that is based mostly on my own experience as a Georgia student over. . . well, many years ago now. I definitely felt that I had to give it a try, and see how my kids would fare at the elementary school we have chosen. So far, i am mostly happy with the school – Parent involvement is high, there do not seem to be any discipline issues of note, and there has been zero violence at the school. That being said, when I do post my thoughts on Dogwood Girl, it will most likely be something negative, as the impetus for my posts is usually what i term Pissed-Off-edness.
So, the latest installment: Valentine’s Day is coming up. Remember Valentine’s Day? Yep, it was pretty horrible back in school. All those people, making it very clear who is popular and who isn’t, all in glaring red, pink, white and lacy detail. But go back farther. Yep, to Pre-K and Kindergarten. Even first grade. Before cliques. Before Mean Girls and Queen Bees. Before Dumb Boys who always like the same predictable bubbly blonde. . . Yeah, you are right. That last part never existed. They always like the blonde. Even my own traitorous man cub likes the predictable blonde chick.
I digress and make this about me. This is not about me, this is about Valentine’s Day and public school education.
I asked the teacher how the children could prepare for Valentine’s Day at school. Would they need to make their own Valentine’s day box? No. But she did request that they not address their Valentines to their friends. They should just sign their name to the cards. It would make it easier that way.
Huh? So, basically, they (the teachers?) don’t want to deal with the hassle of making sure that the right Valentine gets to the right kid. Is it just me, or is that dumb as Paula Abdul? (It is probably me. I did get my period for Groundhog Day, which can make one a little pissy.)
How does it make sense to dissuade the kids from writing their friends’ names on the Valentine’s Day cards? Seems to me that 20 four-and-five year olds spending an evening sitting with their parents and learning to write out the letters in each of their friends’ names might be a good exercise: In penmanship, in letter recognition, in spelling, in spending time with their parents in one-on-one instruction, in thoughtfulness, and in good manners!
I can see that it could be a little time-consuming to go through all the cards and make sure they get to the correct student when most of the kids can’t read. But mightn’t that be a decent teaching exercise? And not to make this all about my kid, because I realize different kids are at different levels, but my kid can read, write, and spell. This is an awesome activity for my kid’s reading and writing level. Should my kid be brought down to the level of other kids who can’t, just because it might be a little extra work for the educators? (Which it wouldn’t, because my kid could totally match up his friend’s name on the card with the same name on their little mailbox.)
Yeah, you guessed it. We are addressing our Valentine’s Day cards. I’m not going to dumb down an everyday task, something that will teach my child, just because it will make his teacher’s life easier at the expense of common sense and etiquette.