Friday, February 6, 2015

Keep it moving people, please!

I hear a lot of people say, "It was good enough for me" or "we turned out alright" when referring to their school experience. I'm not so sure.
I think back to my time at school, and yes, I will admit it, my aquarian nature did see me day dream my way through at times,but essentially I didn't get it. I had no idea what I was doing or why I was doing it. Don't get me wrong though, I could do it. I enjoyed the SRA box especially at primary school and ruling up my maths book and filling in two or three pages of perfectly layed out equations gave me some sense of satisfaction. Apart from 'process writing' (I was at primary school late 70s and early 80s) I had no choice about my writing. Process writing didn't really work for either by the way. I just wrote rubbish. I've had to teach myself as an adult about such things as verbs and still don't know about pronouns.
I got through secondary school largely unscathed. Missed an A bursary by two or three marks and went straight off to teachers college. All the way through not really thinking about my learning, just doing the work in front of me because it was a means to an end. Becoming a teacher. Getting a job.
My son who is now 21 sailed through school. He was made for the system. Perfect memory. Diligent. He is now in his fouth year at med school. He works hard. It's not difficult though. Things make sense to him. Lucky.
Miss 17 has taken a different course. Equally capable as her older brother, but no interest in academia. She dances. School was boring. The most she enjoyed her learning was doing level two ncea via correspondence last year. She liked working at her own pace. She liked the autonomy. She enjoyed not being at school.
The experience that my older kids got was not too dissimilar to my own. How can that be? We're a generation apart.

I think about little miss 13 months. What will her experience be? I hope things make sense to her. I'm sure school would have to be different for her, to the experience her older siblings got. Wouldn't it? Twenty years down the track, things would have to be different. It would have to be different to my own experience wouldn't it? 40 years later? Surely.

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Is school just preparation for life?