All I Really Need To Know, I Learned In Kindergarten

Back in June, we asked our readers if institutionalized-thinking is created through formal education. Or, to say it another way:  does education, through the traditional University and College-level experience, steer students to operate within defined boundaries?

We figured it was a good question to ask. With the world these days looking like it’s full of a bunch of sheep, who don’t question, confront, or effect change outside the molds of what society created for them, we wanted to know what our community thought about this important subject.

Well, we beckoned, and the passionate, substantive thoughts came a-running. You can read those thoughts by looking at the comments of that post here.

It was obvious to us that there are many, many folks out there who who wanted a reason — a forum, a tribe, a community of like-minded, inquisitive people — to VOICE their thoughts about one of the most important subjects that the world-at-large should be tackling right now: the intellectual, social, and emotional unbridled growth of today’s children.

So, when one of our distant mentors had some uncommon things to say about this, we knew we had to pass his thoughts on, too.

Read on… we think, even if you don’t agree with all of it, it SHOULD spark an emotion or creative idea here and there.

Guest Article: Doug Casey On Education

Interviewed by Louis James, Editor, International Speculator

L: Doug, in our recent conversation on global warming, you made some critical remarks about modern education. I know that wasn’t mere drive-by disparagement – can you tell us why you’re so hard on teachers today?

Doug: Sure. Since the school season started recently, it’s probably a good time to talk about schools and education.

L: School season? Is there a bag limit on how many schools you can take down?

Doug: [Laughs] Well, I think that most of the money that’s spent on so-called education is, if not wasted, definitely misallocated.

There was a book written a few years ago called something like All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. I have to admit I never read the book, but the title resonated with me – I think there’s a lot of truth behind the notion. To me it implies that a person should have absorbed basic ethical values, and an understanding how to relate to other people and animals, by the time he’s six years old. Those are the most important things anyone can learn, and should be the first things one learns. But it doesn’t seem any institution, and fairly few parents, think to teach them.

But the first thing to do is to ask: What is education?

L: Okay, I’ll bite. What is it?

– Continued –

Doug: Education is the process of learning how to perceive and analyze reality correctly. That would include subjects like ethics, science, history, and important literature.

L: What about logic? You’d have to include logic.

Doug: Yes, definitely. All things of that nature. The ancients developed the idea of liberal arts, which had a different meaning to them than our current usage. The root of “liberal” is “liber,” meaning free. So the liberal arts were subjects that a free man – as opposed to a slave, or a menial – was assumed to be acquainted with. They were divided into the arts and the sciences. The idea was, these things gave you the tools of thought and the building blocks of culture. They were distinct from the mechanical arts – which were means of earning a living. You’d learn the mechanical arts as an apprentice.

Put it this way. The quality of a person can be determined by how he relates to three critical verbs: Be, Do, and Have. The classical liberal arts show you how to “be” – they help form your essence, your character, your will. The mechanical arts show you how to “do”; they are important, but really are just acquired skills. As a consequence of what you are, and what you can do, you “have” – acquire goods and money and reputation.

But it seems pretty clear that most people have the sequence totally backward. They want the “have” part, the material goods, but they don’t understand it flows as a consequence of being something and having the ability to do something. Having things is trivial. It’s why trailer park trash will win a million-dollar lottery and wind up back on the dole a year later.

I fear that most of what kids get today, whether in grade school, high school, college, or post-grad, is not education. It’s training.

Entirely apart from that, it seems to me that most institutions degrade as time passes. They naturally and inevitably become constipated, concrete-bound, and corrupt. That certainly appears to have happened to education in the U.S., and probably most other countries.

I’m sure you’ve seen that eighth-grade test from 1895 that’s been floating around the Internet for some years. Snopes.com has a go at debunking it, but they don’t claim the test isn’t real, and it does cover a lot of basic stuff few people today know anything about. What every educated person should know may change from age to age, but the basics of thinking, and its application to language, science, etc. are enduring. And there are certain minimums of knowledge that everyone should have. The U.S. education system is not delivering these basics, which are the tools for living.

Training is different. Training is rote learning with a view towards productive behavior in the future. It’s what you’d learn on the job, as an apprentice laborer. This would cover most high school and college courses, which are not designed to produce educated young people but useful employees, ready to enter the labor force. But they don’t even do that well.

I’ll go further. Most schools today are state schools, or if they are not state schools, they teach state-approved curricula. There’s an implicit orientation to train the kids to be good little cogs in the wheel, as in obedient subjects, and as opposed to independent thinkers and citizens. That’s probably the most important reason not to send your kids to a state school.

Homeschooling is a great alternative, though so many homeschoolers are religious fanatics, they’ve given the whole idea an unfortunate and undeserved aura of nuttiness. And in my view, filling your kids’ heads with all sorts of religious superstition is no better than filling their heads with statist superstition. What they need is a classical education in the liberal arts – starting in grade school.

L: Do you really think homeschooling has such a bad reputation? Aren’t homeschooled kids burning up the track at the spelling bees, geography bees, etc.?

Doug: Perhaps it depends on which circles you travel in. You homeschool, and you’re not religious, so maybe you see things differently. But my sense is that the media portrayal tends to emphasize the religious homeschoolers, and perhaps rightly so, since they constitute (I believe) the majority of homeschoolers.

But I’ll give you a good reason to favor homeschooling, regardless of who most homeschoolers are. I had a good enough time in school and I generally enjoyed the social interaction with the other kids. But it was a misallocation of my time; there’s little of value you can learn from other kids. It’s simply a bad idea to put your kids in an environment where they spend most of the day associating with young yahoos, many or most of whom have a lot of bad habits. The average school is full of unrefined young chimpanzees. Sure, kids need to learn how to work together and socialize, but school is not the only, and certainly not the best, place to do that.

Another reason is that every class, like a group traveling together, tends to move at the pace of the slowest kids in the group. An environment tailored for the lowest common denominator bores the smart kids to tears – or trouble. I was perpetually bored and distracted by the “one size fits all” program of my schools.

It’s the same in college, which was an even more serious misallocation of four years of my time – and a bunch of my parents’ money. And it’s much worse today, in either current or constant dollars.

Like most of my friends, I’d end up cutting a lot of classes, because I’d stayed up too late the night before. When I did go to class, I’d fall asleep half the time. And even fully awake, my mind would wander and I wouldn’t take good notes, so then I wouldn’t bother reading the notes. Of course you learn stuff, but I think it’s mostly through osmosis. Entirely apart from the fact that the profs varied greatly in quality.

Most people go to college today because they actually think someone is going to give them an education, when in fact, an education is something you have to give yourself.

You absolutely do not need a college to do that. The old saw about “Those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach” is all too true. Professors can’t educate anyone, though a few of the good ones can help motivated students educate themselves. But the college business is now structured like a manufacturing business; Aristotle and Seneca wouldn’t know what to make of it.

L: My Webster’s dictionary says the word educate has two roots: e-, “out;” and ducere, “lead, draw, or bring.” In other words, to draw out, or bring out what’s in the student’s ability to grasp and remember – not to cram whatever the teacher thinks is important into the student’s head.

Doug: That’s what “education” today fails to do – and why it’s such a waste of money. There is no point at all in going to a college today, unless you’re looking to learn a trade. Or, perhaps, because the people you meet in college might be of some future benefit to you. In other words, it’s pointless unless it’s Harvard, Princeton, Yale, or the like. Because of the classes? No. It’s because the kids that go to such schools are the most intelligent and ambitious “up and comers” – so the connections you make and the patina you get at these places can open a lot of doors.

But if you look closely, the very best and brightest – people like Bill Gates or Steven Jobs – drop out, or don’t even go.

I would suggest that a parent thinking of allocating $40,000 to $50,000 per year for four years of college education instead grubstake their kid with that same money. You could even make it a fraction of that, to be put into actually doing something, like starting a business or trying out different investment strategies, and get a lot more experience and knowledge for your kid as a result.

You certainly don’t need a college to gain knowledge. For example, there’s an outfit called The Teaching Company that hires the very best professors in the world in all sorts of subjects to deliver superb audio courses. I listen to these things all the time in the car. I watch the ones that have important visual components on my computer, and I can go back and repeat anything I don’t understand clearly – when my mind is receptive to it. It’s much more effective than going to college would be, and it’s vastly cheaper. Superior in every possible respect.

Another thing I’d do if I had a college-age kid is plan out a travel schedule. He’d have to spend at least a month in a dozen countries and report on what he does there. Travel may be the single best type of education, at least if done with a method and an objective.

There are many ways to get an education besides going to college – and going to a second-rate, third-rate, or community college is a complete waste of time and money. It serves no useful purpose whatsoever.

L: I’ve long thought similarly about what we call a “liberal arts education” today. Paying lots of money to read literature with friends seems patently silly, and to have someone tell you what some long-dead artist really meant seems arrogant to boot. But there are also things like physics, chemistry, and medicine. When I was a physics major at RPI, I was glad to have all sorts of laboratories and machine shops at my disposal – stuff I could never have built in my backyard…

Doug: I totally agree with you on that. Aside from the patina and connections I’ve been talking about, there are two valid reasons for going to a university. One is to study a hard science. You can still learn these on your own, but you’re right; it helps a lot to have the labs and so forth. That’s worth paying for.

The second reason is if you need a piece of paper that shows you’ve jumped through hoops other people recognize. In other words, if you’re going into a trade, like doctoring, lawyering, or engineering, for which you need a certificate in order to be able to hang a shingle without getting arrested, that’s okay because it’s necessary.

Well, maybe not for lawyering – we have entirely too many lawyers in the world today. They’ve turned from expert helpers to parasites at considerable risk of overwhelming the host body.

Another degree I would strongly advise anyone against getting is an MBA, which has, regrettably, become a very fashionable degree. In our shop, if anyone applies for a job, an MBA is an active strike against them. They’d have to come up with a really good explanation for why they spent all that money and two years of extra time to get something that serves no useful purpose whatsoever.

It’s amazing, when you stop and think about it. The professors who teach MBA courses are not successful business people out making millions in the economy – they’re academics! Successful business people with proven track records wouldn’t work for their wages. These academics have no hands-on experience and are teaching theories, most of which are based on completely phony and fallacious economics.

Don’t get conned into this gross misallocation of time and money. An MBA is worse than useless. Only a fool would rather have one than the $100,000, the lost income, and the two years of lost time and experience it costs.

L: I guess that explains how I got this job, with no relevant papers.

Doug: Of course – you’re not a dog or a horse, for cryin’ out loud. We don’t need pedigree papers to identify talent we can see.

L: Another example in which training is desirable, and not a corruption of education, would be the military schools. Generals like rote, conditioned behaviors.

Doug: They do indeed. And soldiers need to learn practical skills, deeply ingrained, that can keep them alive under very difficult circumstances. Military academies are like advanced trade schools.

I very nearly went to West Point. The only reason I didn’t is because I went to a four-year military boarding high school. In those days, military boarding schools were rather gruesome. I decided that I’d had quite enough of shining shoes, marching in squares, and saying “Yes, Sir!” to people I had no respect for.

L: Is that why you’re an anarchist, Doug – was your response to that training to go as far in the opposite direction as you could go?

Doug: [Laughs] Well, let’s not say that I have a problem with authority. I just have a problem with people telling me what to do.

L: [Laughs] Okay, well, I get the criticism of higher education, and I see the broad strokes of your proposed alternative educational strategy, but what about younger children? You seem to be saying that the very idea of the classroom is a bad one, public or private.

Doug: As a matter of fact, when I got out of college in 1968, I needed a job – and I got one: teaching sixth grade in Hobart, Indiana – the heart of Blues Brothers country. I only did it for one semester, but one thing really impressed me deeply: most of my co-workers were complete morons. They were people Jay Leno would feature on his Jay-Walking videos if he’d ever met them. They had so little knowledge of the world and anything that matters, I was embarrassed to be called a teacher.

There are exceptional teachers, of course, but by and large, they are not the best and the brightest, they’re losers. I wouldn’t want to expose my progeny, if I had any, to a random collection of people who want to be government employees imprisoning kids for six hours a day.

L: Does that apply to private schools as well?

Doug: As I said, I went to a private military high school. Were my teachers any better than others? I suspect they were – but can’t prove it. I’m sure they are at some places, like Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, that pay more and probably attract a better grade of teacher. But if anything is worth doing, it’s worth doing well, and in education, that means doing it yourself. Which means read, read, read.

L: So, your general view is that homeschooling is the way to go for younger children?

Doug: Exactly. Though I’m sure you’ll sympathize with me when I say that I think toddlers ought to grow up for a couple years with wolves, so they can toughen up a bit and learn some survival skills. Kids are way overprotected these days. They are so isolated and insulated from reality, it’s totally counterproductive. Sadly, it’s hard to find a good wolf today.

So it’s homeschool, then college only for technical trades and for the advantages of an Ivy League pedigree. For most people, just reading books and then going out into the real world and doing stuff is way smarter, cheaper, and more productive. The difference between a properly educated kid, and one subjected to conventional training, is the difference between the Arnold Schwarzenegger character and the Danny DeVito character in the movie Twins.

And for God’s sake, don’t send your kids to business school. Better they should try some real businesses instead. Whether they succeed or fail, they’ll learn much more.

L: But this would unemploy hundreds of thousands of people in the education business, who, according to you, are ill equipped for productive work. It doesn’t sound like a politically viable reform plan, Doug.

Doug: The ones who are any good would rise to the occasion and do something better with their time. And those who are not… well, we need people to clean toilets and sweep streets. At least they’d be away from our kids.

And all this dead weight is expensive. I understand that the per-pupil cost of public schooling in the U.S. is running $10,000 to $12,000 per year. And college is $40,000 to $50,000 per year. There’s no reason, no excuse, for it to cost so much.

Teachers who are any good could do as they did in ancient Greece and Rome, and solicit students. They could teach in their houses, or in rented facilities, and compete with each other. They’d have every incentive to strive for the lowest-cost and highest-quality service – and they’d make more money, because most of the money spent on so-called education these days goes to administration and overhead. Not towards getting superstar teachers.

L: I can imagine a future in which the best teachers are celebrities, rich superstars. People would compete for spots in their classes. What would someone with a real passion for astrophysics pay to be able to study with Stephen Hawking?

Doug: That’s exactly what I mean. And instead of having reason to conform, as teachers do now, being members of unions, they’d have reason to excel. Unions have a well-established interest in making sure no one stands above the average, so they foment a culture that guarantees mediocrity. The whole educational system in the U.S. needs to be flushed.

Unfortunately, just the opposite is happening. The Obama people want to give everyone a college education, probably including really useful mandatory courses in Gender Studies, Global Warming, and Marxist Economic Theory. Why stop there? Everyone ought to have a post-grad education as well.

L: Like Luna, in Woody Allen’s Sleeper, who has a Ph.D. in oral sex?

Doug: Yes. It’s insane. It’s another sign that the whole system in the U.S., not just education, is upside down and overdue for collapse.

L: There’s no reforming such an entrenched system, supported by such powerful unions and a population that believes it can and should be fixed. On the other hand, the education system in the U.S. is such a dismal failure, people are opting out their kids in droves. So, with reality-reality vs. political reality, it could actually collapse. Maybe there is hope for a future in which there’s real education, simply because the old system implodes and disappears.

Doug: It could happen. The U.S. Department of Education should be abolished. The National Education Association building in Washington DC should be boarded up or dynamited. No, better yet, cleaned out and sold on the market, so some entrepreneur can put it to some useful business purpose.

L: It could be turned into a brothel. It would be more honest.

Doug: It would – you’d actually get value for your money.

L: Investment implications?

Doug: I expect I’ll expand on this theme in this month’s Casey Report, with an examination of publicly traded online universities. They represent an interesting trend. And our newest letter, Casey’s Extraordinary Technology, is written by Alex Daley, who is something of a polymath. He has deep expertise in all areas of technology, as well as lots of practical experience in venture capital. I think he’s got a lot to say about the implications of the continuing – and accelerating – computer revolution on education. But we truly try to make all our publications educational. We don’t just tout investments. We think it’s critical our readers understand why we think something – not just take our word for it.

L: And when you can understand why something is happening, and pick out predictable trends, there are opportunities to profit. Understood. Okay, well, thanks for another interesting talk.

Doug: My pleasure.

♦  ♦  ♦

Doug Casey is a best-selling author and chairman of Casey Research, LLC., publishers of Casey’s International Speculator.

Doug is one of close to 50 renegade, international investors that we follow on a consistent basis. We also have an in-house network of “investment investigators” who scour the world for most valuable ideas, resources, opinions, and opportunities.

Collectively, we sift through many ideas, resources, and insights about politics, economics, worldwide currency news, real estate trends, emerging markets, inflation / deflation indicators, privacy and personal asset protection, futures and options trading, and unique business news.

Through our LWL Wealth Vault, you can see the filtered part. In other words, it’s where we archive our best assessments of the most viable, easy, and hassle-free unconventional passive-income opportunities, cash-flow strategies, and wealth-generation programs across the globe.

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Filed under: Institutionalized Thinking/Formal Education

6 Responses to “All I Really Need To Know, I Learned In Kindergarten”

  1. Well, as an educator (public high school), I feel I have to reply if for no other reason than to offer yo some insight from “the inside”.

    I went to a private kindergarten and a private university for my doctorate in education (Ed.D.) Everything in-between was public. In a state that’s considered inforior by most measurements. However, I’ve lived in several states in the US, even close to Yale University, and I’ve never felt like my education was inferior. Why? It’s because I had some kind of intrinsic motivation to learn, and my parents fostered this desire. They grew up during The Depression and had few opportunities growing up, but they stressed hard work in school and in life. No entitlement for us.

    That’s one reason I get so frustrated these days. Kids these days really do seem to need “training” in basic social skills that we spend too much time with discipline issues and not enough teaching. And after seeing some of the parents in public places, it’s clear as to why. The issue of “children having children” is only getting worse. Can you imagine someone eighteen or nineteen, with no high school diploma and no real skills trying to Homeschool?

    Then there’s the bureaucracy and politics in education. Accountability is important and has long been needed, but No Child Left Behind has forced us to focus on high stakes testing several times a year instead of in-depth instruction and learning. Each state is allowed to determine its own standards and testing. We can’t even compare New York to New Mexico. How can we compare our students to those in another country?

    As for unions, I know that the stances taken are sometimes extreme, but I can assure you, if we didn’t have them, there would be many illegal employment issues going on. I have seen non-tenured teachers not renewed for reasons other than financial cutbacks or poor performance. Nepotism comes to mind, as does outright discrimination. Unfortunately, The Peter Principle is alive and well in education in many places. In addition, teachers are too often treated as “big children,” rather than professionals. It’s really hard to take someone seriously when you know they don’t have a clue as to what’s really going on.

    I know I have ranted quite a bit here, but I think I can speak for teacher everyehere when I say I am tired of being blamed for all the ills of the Western world. I fyou could only see how hard teachers today work, in highly stressful environments, trying to make up for what kids SHOULD have known before they even started school but didn’t, you might have a different perspective.

  2. Let me start by saying that I agree with some of what you say. Administration is a big part of education costs. That and football. The system for the first 13 years does tend to discourage real thinking and it is very much the same in every school in a state since the state sets the standards. However, I had to learn some things in collage to make me more educated. When my major was English, I had to take math and science to get out of the school I attended. When I switched to accounting, I still had to have math and science out of my department and I had to take speech and humanities. I also had to take history. There are schools like that still around and I’m glad I went to one. I’m glad my kid went to one. (He’s studying Science.) Many people do not want to go to that sort of school and learn all that useless stuff. It didn’t help me make a living but it did help me build a life. That had a high value to me. On yes, I also read a lot and always have>

  3. My argument about education is with the failing educational system itself. I don’t blame the teachers. They are doing their best with what they know. The problem doesn’t lie with the teachers in particular. It lies with the educational system.

    This archaic educational system hasn’t changed for well over 100 years. Sure, what we have in the classrooms has changed a bit, e.g. computers, calculators, etc. There are more subjects being taught in school. One might say that school has improved from a hundred years ago. But overall, the SYSTEM has remained the same.

    We are still cramming information in our students’ head in the hopes that they’ll absorb it. Students are still trying to learn this information by rote memory; which is a slow way of learning. And yet, we are giving more and more information for them to learn.

    As a student, whether you’re in grade school or college, doesn’t matter where you are, you have other obligations beyond school work. So, you’re trying to learn, by rote memory, all this information, and at the same time fulfilling your other obligations in life. It’s no wonder students are burning out.

    The system has to change. We should be teaching them how to learn. There are a lot of techniques out there that help accelerate learning. We need to teach them how to use their WHOLE mind. For the most part, you’re only using your left brain in school while your right brain lies dormant. You process information more effectively when you use your whole mind.

    There are two elements that need to be infused in school that will help students use their whole mind. They are FUN and CREATIVITY. Both of these elements go hand-in-hand. Schools squelch creativity. Sir Ken Robinson, a creativity expert, says, “We are educating people out of their creativity.” Ken challenges the way we’re educating our children. He advocates a radical rethink of the educational system that encourages creativity, and recognizes multiple types of intelligences. You can view his speech on TED here: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

    I’ll be very blunt here, most classes are boring. The classes I remember most, and learned and retained the most information in, were FUN. And fun fosters creativity. It was in these classes that I processed the information more easily. Infusing fun into your learning experience works wonders. You understand the materials better.

    Understanding is another thing the system fails at. The system requires more memorizing than understanding the materials taught. Look back at the tests you took in school. It was more about how much you memorized rather than how much you understood. And think about how much of that information you forgot after you took the test. You forgot it because you simply memorized it, and didn’t understand it. You retain information better when you understand it.

    The educational system might have worked for our great, great, great grandparents before. But it’s not working now. Times have changed. Our educational system has to change. We have to utilize understanding, accelerative learning techniques, creativity, and fun in schools. We should be churning out more innovators. Not more trained sheep for the workforce.

  4. I wholeheartedly agree- business is best learned by people who are DOING IT SUCCESSFULLY, not by employees who have never run a business of their own. Skip the business degree and go find yourself a business owner who will mentor you – a mentor who has already created the level of financial success that you want. Leave the MBA’s to people who want to run SOMEONE ELSE’s business.

    Speaking from experience as the valedictorian of my private college-prep high school, a valuable skill that is taught in school is self-discipline (staying focused, finishing projects, being accountable, reinforced by observing the cause-and-effect between behaviors and outcomes). However many school environments abuse this and push children to be compliant with all sorts of useless “rules”. Give some flexibility for children to move around and express themselves… silence in the classroom does not equal learning!

    The problem is not that we have a large state-run school system, it’s what’s being taught in those buildings. Ditch the current model of “training good factory workers” and start teaching the skills of an entrepreneurial economy: public speaking, working in groups, Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad” style financial education, debate and negotiation, salesperson-as-a-solution-provider, as well as reading, writing, computer literacy and arithmetic. Use Accelerated Learning Techniques, Kolbe Index results, and other latter-day discoveries to shorten the learning curve. Shorten the school day- spend less time in academic instruction and more time building a business (such as the Junior Achievement program). And, I do believe that basic education (through 8th grade, at least) should be available for all citizens.

    I think one useful reason to go to college is to meet people from all over the world & learn about them as peers. When a person uses their college years to do that, they learn that no matter what people wear/eat/worship/speak, we’re all humans in the end. College can serve as a wonderful way to create peace in the world.

  5. On the same wavelength as the The Life Without Limits Community Blog » All I Really Need To Know, I Learned In Kindergarten, topic, Most families that home school are looked at as conservative right wing religious types. Or, back woods rustics who don’t trust anything that the government does. But as you dig into the facts you find that HS cover a wide demographic range. They come from all walks of life. They live in every part of the country. They are involved in every occupation there is. They are just plain people who have decided not let the government take charge of one of the most important steps in their child’s development.

  6. Dear All,

    Gee this is my 20th of year of teaching. The first part was in state run institutions, and as is always, loved the children, love teaching, hated the bureaucrats, and the obstacles they love…even when there are NO obstacles. I say that because…because..its true… the only obstacles I ever felt was the narrow mindedness, the policy driven morons, that always get in the way of creative teaching..you have an idea, you implement it, some of the monkeys will jump up and down …ooh you can’t do that… “we” dont do that here…and most of the time the parents love the style, kids go home and rave about great lessons, one parent told me he had seen his kid reading… interested and reading in ten years…
    the list of testimonials are endless.. plain as the nose on our faces..but policy dicates that we “churn” out good consumers…the individual has no place here…because they run a mile…they even “attack”…the mindset is so set, so narrow, so institutionalised, that even when the kids are happy, creative, and tell everyone about it… (some kids from other classes used to sneak into my class.. and hide down the back!!!) the management will perceive “something strange is going on”…yep…its called real teaching, real learning, real observation, rather than rote learning and mindnumbing exercises, that if you have a bit of grey matter you’d refuse to teach in that way anyway… So..how did I fair?

    Obviously, not so well in the state system… in Australia, but it could be anywhere. I also taught in christian schools, international schools, the journey continued, and I just swapped one deck chair on the titanic for another… again fabulous children… ridiculous management.. never solution oriented..politics, politics..

    Solution: Brilliant… private tutoring… freedom to teach, still following the curriculum but making it, moulding it to suit each individual in my class… no geraniums are dying on the windowsill here… Parents are ecstatic that they are consulted and a real team effort… ummm.. did I mention, caring, time, making it relevant… hurray!!!

    The last principal I had from a state run school said I was a “hippy”… whilst I helped him set up a brand new department of music… I did for the children not him… but he loved his picture in the papers.. shaking politicians hands… you know the kind… the world is full of ’em… ego driven… still I have to thank him.. he was so terrible that I got “mad as hell and was not gonna take it anymore..nor let that mindless management seep into my classes…or my kids…”

    Outcome: Twenty years…well my high school babies all grown up, buying houses, having multiple babies of their own, some gay, some straight, some transgender, some artists, some sell insurance.some white some black..but all find me on facebook, at some stage… and
    say.. Miss.. you were the greatest! A politician would die for those comments… and I am feeling like Mohammed Ali…. very cool…

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