Thursday, May 28, 2015

Education Needs People, Not Programs

It's hard on my wife and I to nurture our 11-year-old daughter when the way some of her teachers communicate stresses her to tears. It's no wonder why people choose to home school.


But it's not the school. It's not the programs. It's the people, always.

Years of Tears

I wrote about helping my daughter with her personal finance assessment. She did poorly on it because her teacher did poorly facilitating her learning. (Parent Like a PIRATE)

Was there an opportunity to reassess? Yes, and by the time my daughter brought home the assessment marked for "redo" (grading system violation, BTW), we would have been outside the assessment window.

Having been on the teams that wrote the grading system, I know that this constitutes an "extenuating circumstance." But at this point in the year, I would've had to email the teacher, wait three days to hear back, get mad over the nonsense I usually receive, and schedule a meeting with an administrator present. That's a lot of time over something I can teach my daughter really well.

I took a breath and made the best use of our time.

The High Road

As a knowledge seeker, I decided not to chase the points, and I thought I was over it until the STAAR results came in. Wouldn't you know, the area that kept my daughter's scores from being in the upper level was personal finance calculations.

It's annoying that the record says one thing and reality says another. Can my daughter fill out a check registry and calculate it to balance an account? Yes, like a PIRATE! What does the program say? No.

It's People, Not Programs 

The years of tears will not invade our household because my wife and I intend to raise strong individuals who will show the world what they can do.

It won't be my daughter's grades that get her a job in graphic design – her portfolio will tell all. It won't be class rank that gets my son into MIT. It will be the robots he builds and his ability to lead teams to build better ones.

It's people, not programs.

Special thanks to Todd Whitaker for the wisdom. You are an inspiration to so many. Your authentic approach to schooling will impact generations to come.