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I am wedged in the corner amidst the chaos and paper piles that is Lisa's desk at school. How she functions is beyond me. Granted I am not the most organized of people and there are times when my work table explodes but generally after every major project I have a cleaning and a purge. Right now her desk makes me want to get a very large garbage bag and simply sweep everything into it. Help! I have turned into my mother!

I have fantasies of this thing but of course I will never do it. It's her work space and to paraphrase Jefferson, it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket. I can let it be. If I saw it and had to work around it every day that would be a different matter.

I have come into school with her this morning to help take the kids to the Academy of Sciences building. Truthfully I have absolutely no recollection of agreeing to this but she says that I did. I'm still sleepy and a little cranky and my green tea has not kicked in yet. Thankfully the kids are quietly reading...one particular boy keeps coming up to the box of comic books I have donated and selecting the next issue. I'm glad they are being read.

____

Back from the day long field trip to the Academy of Science. What little I saw looked amazing and the whole building was remarkably built...light and open with a lot of really fascinating things. I'm sure I could spend a lot of time there reading and drawing and gawking. Unfortunately all my energy was spent trying to stay on top of a bunch of hyper 6th graders.

It is not unlike being a sheepdog. I try to keep them together, get them moving to specific locations and keep them from deviating off the path. A little nip on the heels here, a little warning bark there, several counts during the day. Being responsible for someone else's kids is nervewracking.

When I lived in North Carolina the teachers *always* had another adult in the classroom who was there to be their aid. I was shocked when we moved to Utah and found the classrooms only held one adult. I'm even more empathetic now seeing the energy Lisa expends keeping her classroom under control. It doesn't matter how big or small the class is...another pair of eyes to help monitor things would be invaluable.

Sayings that would make me roll my eyes when I was a kid:

"Why do you have to make me be the bad guy?"
"SLOW. DOWN!"
"Everybody go THIS WAY. Do NOT pass go! Do NOT collect 200 dollars!" (very few caught that reference.)


I found myself of thinking of different ways to keep groups together or how to let them be able to go off and yet be quickly rounded up if need be. I looked wistfully at students from other schools wearing neatly pressed uniforms.

I thought about how next time I would go to the dollar store and get yellow bandanas for my group to wear so I could quickly spot them and round them up.

Every so often I sit and fantasize about what sort of education system I would build if I could start completely from the ground up. What I come up with has very, very little in common with what we currently have and a lot more in common with earlier centuries of education. You advance based on your own personal work and level of knowledge. If you want to go into learning specific areas and trades, you get to work with an adult who actually DOES those things. Want to learn how an engine runs? Great! Let's go talk to a mechanic! Want more complicated books to read and study? Here you go! Struggling math...let's stop until you get it.

I sound like a homeschooler without a student.

___

Anyway, we're back at the school and Lisa is tucked back in her storage room, sacked out on the couch we rescued off the street and under the blanket my mom made. There are things I'd like to get done at home but right now I am totally not begrudging her the naptime.

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Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
cerrberus
Apr. 27th, 2010 11:33 pm (UTC)
::woof, woof!::
Yay, naps!
Excuse, ejucayshun peeps, UR doin it rong.
This's likely not the place for me to get into my education reform theories.
But some at least dovetail with yours.
jatg
Apr. 27th, 2010 11:53 pm (UTC)
I'll bite! What are your theories?
cerrberus
Apr. 28th, 2010 02:32 am (UTC)
[Hmm. Perhaps unwise to say I'll bite! to a doggish manifestation.]

::sigh:: No time.
Let's try a condensed version.
Let's just say that
a) our school systems are administration-heavy, instructor-light.
b) this country doesn't understand the worth of technical education- too much college emphasis, not enuf personal evaluation for best fits.
c) I thot that computer and Internet use in our schools would allow for You advance based on your own personal work and level of knowledge
d) The arts and sciences can do more to teach various basics to some kids than any amount of memorization/"3 'Rs'"/standardized testing. Have examples; not listed for brevity.
e) 'No Child Left Unscathed Behind' sux. Much.

Open to further discussion, but I hate to hijack your [or anyone's] blog.

I miss red Sparrow
cerrberus
Apr. 28th, 2010 02:34 am (UTC)
Oh- and I really like the yellow bandannas idea. 8)
firynze
Apr. 28th, 2010 01:01 pm (UTC)
...you're secretly a Montessori teacher. I knew it!

(I've done the sheepdog thing with art students at camp before. Bandannas and tees are ESSENTIAL for field trips at that age.)

Also, you wanna come to VT and clean-sweep my desk at work? IT NEEDS IT.
cerrberus
Apr. 28th, 2010 05:39 pm (UTC)
"Another fine service from TGStudios©"?
firynze
Apr. 28th, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
Totally.
hearts_treasure
May. 4th, 2010 04:36 am (UTC)
In Japan, the children were the same colored ballcaps and/or t-shirts on their outings.

Just have the students wear their PE uniforms, they will be easier to notice and at no extra cost. :D
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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