Tuesday, March 23, 2010

So I watched a speech that touched a nerve. I decided to post my thoughts (amid all those calls for white supremacy and other general garbage... I feel bad that average Americans are offered a forum to discuss general topics of national interest, and instead of actual thought, we end up with "Kill Whitey!" ...but my pontification is probably not much better) Here is the short video speech, followed by my thoughts:

"I think the statement about teachers being most responsible for a child's success glosses over a flaw larger than our current education system. The biggest flaw of American education (elementary and secondary) is the American family behind it all. Our families have degenerated so much since the mentioned 'golden age'. Parents no longer accept the responsibility to see that their individual children are learning the most that they possibly can. Many American families have fathers who are addicted to pornography, or who just don't give their kids the needed discipline, guidance or support. At the same time they have mothers who have to work full time to meet the rent, or who are maybe a little too worried about the media's presentation of what their bodies should look like, etc. The list is too expansive for a short post, but there exists a general weakness to our families that cannot be fully compensated by a good teacher. Without the help of parents, it is so much harder for kids to reach the excellence that should be right at their fingertips. I don't think President Obama is ignoring this, as per the state of the union, but Americans who expect a bill like this to pull us back to the top in education fail to see the larger problem. We need to repair the American Family, and I don't think a legislative bill can do that. I honestly think the change must come from people like me, with my growing family, who can make individual choices to strengthen the family. I am the father who can put my kids in a position where excellence is the norm. I am the one who can take responsibility for the next generation, because they literally live under my roof. I think Obama should challenge the fathers (and mothers) of the nation to do the same." [end youtube post]

OK, so when I posted it the order got all disjointed, and I had to slim some sentences down, and I even left one sentence incomplete. I just wanted to make sure that I too showed a lesser respect for this 'national forum'... sheesh. And then I started thinking about what I would do if Eli has a really crappy kindergarten teacher. It makes me sick to my stomach actually, and I don't want to deal with that. But I guess I'll make sure that I'm always there for my kids, that I always know what they are learning, that I always help them with their homework, and maybe even supplement it with cool lessons in physics etc. I have some teaching ideas up my sleeve. Cho Oyu, anyone? :)

Sierra and I were joking about how she should just be a nurse, and I could homeschool the kids... but while I would really love to do that, I would also probably not survive even one week. Hopefully I can just help my kids understand the joy of learning through disciplined study, something that I took a long time to comprehend, and still forget frequently.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Life is good. I hope my kids remember with fondness the adventures they are having as children. I feel so bound up with school, and my time is so limited, but there are always moments of tender mercy.