Today, I learned of a rather sickening situation.
Something that further encouraged my lust for moving away from London, especially by the time I have children and they need educating!
I was talking with a close friends’ younger brother, he’s 12. He was telling me about school; what’s new, what he’s doing well and what he feels about certain subjects. We quickly moved onto why I thought History and Geography are quite important, though empathised with his frustration as I too despised the lessons back when I was his age. They were dull and I very rarely felt I was learning anything I could use – pretty much the main argument about the UKs educational system.
During this conversation I explained to him why both History and Geography were important. He agreed, understood and thought about it differently and said – “Well, why don’t they teach it like that in school?”. Well said young man, well said…
What growing child is going to be interested in learning about the population in Delhi, India? Want to teach kids about Geography? Grab their attention in the first lesson with a documentary on the Great Barrier Reef – and how once a year approximately 26,000 turtles flock to Raine Island each year to lay eggs, whilst the birds come to lay their eggs, whilst the sharks come to feed on the turtles, whilst the turtles eggs hatch, whilst the birds hunt the new-born turtles to feed their new-borns, whilst all coral surrounding the Island release just one egg at exactly the same time spreading across the ocean in order to keep the coral species alive. In that class-long visually appealing documentary you seem some gruesome births, learn some harsh truths, and witness some brutal killings. That’s how you’re going to teach a child about the world. Or is that science? Still, the point applies.
A suitable but random anecdote…
Following on from the conversation above, I explained to him how a lot of the time you’re passion for a class will depend on the teacher and whether you have a connection with them. They need to be a likeable teacher, and you have to want to learn, you need to feel inspired.
I told him of how when I was younger, in my first year of high school, I loved my French class. My mother speaks perfect French so I had an advantage, I was one of the top students in the class and my teacher was excellent – Mr Charpontier.
When moving up a year you switch to tiered learning classes, group 1, 2,3 and so on. Group 1 containing the students which performed best in the class. Needless to say, I was absolutely devastated when I found out they’d put me into the second tier group. Hang on a second, what, didn’t I get the second highest scores in my class? What’s happened here?
So, my mother came to the school to discuss the issue with the head of the department. What happened? Nothing. There was no explanation, and they wouldn’t consider putting me in my rightful place. Cutting the story short, I remained in the second tiered class with a poor teacher, students unwilling to learn and became rather hateful towards the subject altogether. Of course, I do not speak French, the school ruined that for me big-time.
Onto what sickened me…
After telling him that story, he told me his…
*Note – the quote is rather loose, I don’t remember word-for-word what he said.
“Something like that happened to my friend actually. We’re both really good at maths, he’s actually much better than me. In our final tests I got a B and he got an A. In the next year, I was in top group (tier 1) and he was in second (tier 2).
They said (assuming they is some authority in the school) it wasn’t because of his grades, they were fine. They said it was because he didn’t put his hand up enough, you know, like, participate in the class.”
What the fuck? Are you serious? Oh man… I’d pull my child out of that school so damn fast.
How is that even a real thing to say? I mean, surely not, surely you can’t affect a child’s future that way because you’ve randomly decided they’re too shy for your class.
Oh my, the burning rage. I’d love to meet this teacher.
Not only is the current educational system so badly flawed already. It’s a problem if your hair is dyed, your tie isn’t done-up properly or your tights are… “wrong?” lol. So now… it’s also a problem if you’re a timid individual who’s not a big fan of answering questions aloud in class, rather just on paper like they’re supposed to in the final tests anyway!
ARGGHHHHHHHHHH! How have most people even got a chance!?