the potential and promise of public education



{Note: I wrote this post over a year ago, but could never find the right words to finish. I finally have been able to get my thoughts together and wanted to share with you all.}

I am not a writer. Whenever I write, especially on a topic so very important to me, it just turns into my one-sided conversation. So please forgive the informality and come along for my thoughts.

I have two sons. My oldest is 5 and will start kindergarten next year. I actually thought about home-schooling him.

I am a proud public school teacher. I love my job. Why would I home school my child?
(And just to be clear, I am NOT going to home school. But the thought lingered more than 10 seconds in my brain.)

I’ll be honest. I am so very nervous about bringing my precious boy into the present state of public education. Amazing things happen every day at public schools across the nation, but the politics and finance problems are out of control. I already constantly worry if he’ll find new things to amaze him each day, if he’ll learn how to collaborate and analyze, if he’ll become the digital citizen that is necessary for our ever-changing world.

I could go on and on about the problems in education. If you are a teacher, I’m sure you have your opinions and if you are a parent of a school-age child, you probably have your opinions too.

But then I stop to think. The very idea of public education is phenomenal.

The principal goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done. Jean Piaget (1896-1980)

And then I found this:

True education makes for inequality; the inequality of individuality, the inequality of success, the glorious inequality of talent, of genius. Felix E. Schelling (1858-1945) American educator

Although it sounds ridiculous at first to say it, thank heavens for inequality! How horrible would our world be if everyone was the same? the same thoughts, the same knowledge, the same ideas?

My sincere wish for my son is that he find things that interest him and inspire him and that he can use that to help and encourage others. I am part of public education and I will do everything in my power to help him and all students achieve that goal.

What are your hopes for your own students/children?

{Update: My son finished kindergarten and had a fabulous year – as a mom and as a teacher, I am inspired!}


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