The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #34096   Message #1754020
Posted By: Lizzie Cornish
06-Jun-06 - 08:25 AM
Thread Name: How many mudcatters are teachers?
Subject: RE: How many mudcatters are teachers?
I'm probably going to make myself deeply unpopular on this thread, I don't want to, but I have a very different point of view I'm afraid.

So, the *desperately* important question, to me at least, is WHY are you teachers in the first place?

Is it because the holidays give you much time off for folk music/festivals? Is it because you want to assert your will over others....no matter what the cost of that may be to the child/young person in front of you? Is it because it seemed an easy option, after leaving school? You just stay in the same environment, but get paid for it. Is it because you think that gaining examinations is the most important thing in life, above *all* else?

OR....are you a teacher because you love children deeply and want to care for them, to enrich their lives as much as you can? Is it that you know that in being able to pass on your knowledge in a kind and understanding manner, you will widen their horizons, and bestow on them the gift of kindness and empathy, in order that they, in their turn, will go on to enlighten and enrich the lives of others?

I ask these questions as the mother of two children who feels concerned that very little about *children* was mentioned in the posts above, apart from how nice it is to no longer be teaching them, or how debilitating your job is or what right pains in the arses they seem to be!

But....don't you ever stop to think how school affects the very human beings that you have supposedly come to teach and care for? Does it never occur to you that many of them can never leave school, until they are 'permitted' by society? Many of them do not have the freedom to up and walk out, to find a new life, a new way, a new beginning.

Well, my children left. My son at 7 years old, my daughter at 15 years old. Weighed down with the terrible stress which is now put upon them to pass exams, (my daughter in particular, being older) "You MUST achieve..at all costs!" drummed into them by teachers who are under equal stress to achieve....bullied relentlessly by their unhappy and often disturbed peers, who are rebelling in the only way they know how....they caved in...and I got flamingly angry and realised there WAS another way! And we found Home Education.

Yet teachers have the power to stop ALL of this, by uniting together to change these crazy rules and regulations that are weighing you down and in some cases KILLING our children. My daughter already has two friends who have committed suicide. She was just 17 when the first one died. 18 when the second one took his life. I know MANY children and young people who are having loads of problems at school, yet no-one will listen to them. They are often the sensitive, quiet children, who are so often ignored by teachers and bullied rotten by their peers.

Then there are the children who have dyslexia, the hyperactive ones, the Asperger's Syndrome children, the autistic children.....These are some of the children who drive teachers up the wall, as they won't behave 'as they should'. They wriggle, they daydream, they chatter, they misbehave, Lordy...they are SUCH a nuisance!! But of course..no-one thinks what is going on in the child's mind. No-one thinks that it is unnatural for a child to sit behind a desk for hours at a time...(Would you ask your child to do that at week-ends?)...unnatural for them to be forced to learn something in which they have no interest. No-one thinks that ALL children are different, that their brains function in very many different ways. The poet may never be the mathmetician, the artist may never be the scientist, the mechanic/builder/decorator may never be the historian and vice versa. We are all designed to work in a different manner, yet School is now trying it's damndest to make us work in the same way, at the same time, on the same day, in the same week of the year.

Total madness!

ALL children can learn, and go on to live as rich a life as possible..but ONLY if they are given the support, encouragement and love they so need. Every single child in front of you, who is placed into YOUR care has a special skill. It may not be the skill that you want or desire...but it is THEIR skill and it is your job to work out what that is, then to encourage and feed it. But 'the system' won't let you do that...so CHANGE the system.

Children are turning away from learning BECAUSE of 'EDUCATION, EDUCATION,EDUCATION'....this madness called The National Curriculum, which forbids good teachers from being able to teach THEIR way, in a way they can adapt to the children in front of them. And the bad teachers? Well, the National Curriculum makes it easy for them, no need to think, just hand out worksheets in the class room for the children to learn their Week 3/15/26 lessons on....then fill in the forms required by Politicians, who wouldn't be able to understand, or care, about a child's needs in a month of Sundays!

And if I sound angry....I am!! Because the solution is so simple! And the solution lies with you teachers, (in my opinion.) YOU have the strength, as a profession, to change it all around.

My children now LOVE to learn. And the reason they have such a deep love, is because they now learn what they want, when they want, how they want. They're now happy, confident, interesting young people. My daughter has completely turned her back on exams, doesn't want to know. She recognises them for what they are...another way of making money. The exam system is now HUGE! Wall upon wall, of book after book, of how to get your shattered, stressed out, angry, miserable, rebellious child through to the end of the system!

But at what price to the child? When my children were in school, they had switched off completely. In the home-education world, this is known as 'Educide'....the voluntary killing off of the natural love of learning, by the child itself.

So next time you think how stressed out, fed up, overworked, angry and bitter you're becoming....just think about the children too.

And I'll leave you with the wise and empathetic words of Harry Chapin's 'Flowers Are Red' and George Papavgeris's song 'Watermelon Seeds'

Harry's song is the story of a small child going to school for the first time, filled with enthusiasm and happiness..a creative mind eager to have wisdom poured inside, to have lights switched on. The words are self-explanatory, but to hear Harry singing them...well...it brings it all home to you...and every teacher should listen to and understand that song (imo) before they are ever able to call themselves 'teachers'

And George's song...well that tells of how easy it is to raise happy contented children. It doesn't apply solely to the education system, but it's still very important, inasmuch as it reminds us of so many things we've forgotten, so many simple things. Children are just that...children! How we have forgotten that. They are there to be nurtured and loved, as George says. And to be loved and appreciated by all of us...and that imo, includes an education system that is way out of control, and that has come to regard children as nothing more than a dreadful, ghastly nuisance! It is perhaps *one* of the reasons why so many children are very unhappy at present.

FLOWERS ARE RED by Harry Chapin

"Spoken)Your son marches to the beat of a different drummer, comma. (Spoken)But don't worry, (Spoken)We'll have him joining the parade by the end of the term

The little boy went first day of school He got some crayons and started to draw He put colors all over the paper For colors was what he saw And the teacher said.. What you doin' young man I'm paintin' flowers he said She said... It's not the time for art young man And anyway flowers are green and red There's a time for everything young man And a way it should be done You've got to show concern for everyone else For you're not the only one

And she said... Flowers are red young man Green leaves are green There's no need to see flowers any other way Than they way they always have been seen

But the little boy said... There are so many colors in the rainbow So many colors in the morning sun So many colors in the flower and I see every one

Well the teacher said.. You're sassy There's ways that things should be And you'll paint flowers the way they are So repeat after me.....

And she said... Flowers are red young man Green leaves are green There's no need to see flowers any other way Than they way they always have been seen

But the little boy said... There are so many colors in the rainbow So many colors in the morning sun So many colors in the flower and I see every one

The teacher put him in a corner She said.. It's for your own good.. And you won't come out 'til you get it right And are responding like you should Well finally he got lonely Frightened thoughts filled his head And he went up to the teacher And this is what he said.. and he said

Flowers are red, green leaves are green There's no need to see flowers any other way Than the way they always have been seen

Time went by like it always does And they moved to another town And the little boy went to another school And this is what he found The teacher there was smilin' She said...Painting should be fun And there are so many colors in a flower So let's use every one

But that little boy painted flowers In neat rows of green and red And when the teacher asked him why This is what he said.. and he said

Flowers are red, green leaves are green There's no need to see flowers any other way Than the way they always have been seen.

But there still must be a way to have our children say . . .

There are so many colors in the rainbow So many colors in the morning sun So many colors in the flower and I see every one"

George's 'Watermelon Seeds' you can hear on his Myspace page here:

http://www.myspace.com/georgepapavgeris

And here are the lyrics:

'Watermelon Seeds' by George Papavgeris:

"You see them running in the playground You see them splashing in the mud Pulling at mother's skirt at checkouts Or screaming till they freeze your blood. For some a curse, for some a blessing; Some call them names much more unkind. But when I see them all together I've got to tell you they remind Me of watermelon seeds, Just little watermelon seeds, A million million little kids, They're only watermelon seeds.

Their pictures in a billion wallets Or standing on some mantlepiece. Or on the news, or on some posters Pleading for food, asking for peace. They come in every size and colour, Their little lives have just begun. But you can see it in their faces: New hope in each and every one. They're watermelon seeds....

Inside each one there is an angel Seeing the world with trusting eyes And it depends on those around him Whether that angel lives or dies. In every child there is a promise That needs so little to come true. You'll understand if you remember The child that years ago was you. They're watermelon seeds...

So when you're planning for the future In children's eyes you'll find the clue. In all you do you must remember The future is for them, not you. And it's not toys, and it's not money, That helps them till they're fully grown. A little love, a little water And treating each one as your own. They're watermelon seeds..."

Apologies for rambling, but it's a subject I feel passionate about. And I recognise there are many problems in society in general, so please don't think that I'm ONLY blaming schools.

Lizzie