Sunday, October 19, 2008

More Ranting

When your kid goes to kindergarten, you find hordes of parents in the classroom, volunteering. It’s great, the enthusiasm for each student, the joy of learning shared between parent and child. With each passing year, however, fewer and fewer parents help out. Maybe adults become intimidated by the material? I don’t think so. I think parents get tired, and as a child has to buckle down harder each evening with homework, parents lose interest, or get impatient.
Every year the achievement gap between students in a classroom widens. For example, I see kids in my fifth grader’s class who read at about a second grade level. I see kids who don’t speak any English (something they can’t help because they have just arrived in the States). But I also see apathy developing, kids who stop trying, who don’t do their homework, who don’t study for tests (I’ve graded some of these tests, so I know). This I blame squarely on parents. Why don’t they get themselves into the classroom and see what is happening? It makes me sad and angry.
Can you tell I’m in a bitchy mood lately??? Crack in entrance to deYoung Museum by Andy Goldsworthy.


namastenancy said...

I've done some volunteer teaching and I've seen the same thing. Lots of volunteers to help with the younger kids, field trips, summer art projects - the works. But as the kids get older and older, there is often less and less. Of course, the older kids - especially the teenagers - are very difficult to deal with. I thought about doing some volunteer tutoring in one of our high schools but an afternoon's observation of their behavior "cured" me of that plan. It's really tragic that the kids who need help the most often destroy their chance of getting it.

kloeamongtheturks said...

Hi Nameste,
You were brave to even try. But it's really the responsibility of the parents to get themselves into the schools. Parents are attuned to the age group of their children (I already can't relate to very young children).
And if more people just visited schools they'd be supportive of raising teacher salaries, cause the job is often thankless.
Hope your artwork continues well.