I've been thinking about education. School has started and I've got to say that some are probably happy about that and some are not so thrilled. As a former teacher I'm a bit opinionated concerning what education should do for all children; so, when I found this piece today, I thought it might be something we would all relate to. It also might make a good discussion topic.
We can teach our children to count from one to ten,
to name the colors of the rainbow
and the days of the week.
We can teach them to name letters,
to write their names
and to recognize onsets and rimes.
We can teach them to line up,
to raise their hands before speaking,
to sit on a chair and stay on task.
We can teach them to recognize the phases of the moon
and continents on the globe
and the states within the boundaries of our nation,
and it will all be for nothing
if we fail to keep their basic human dignity intact.
L.L. Laminack, author and literary consultant.
The basic human dignity of our children. I wonder if we think enough about this, and what is human dignity, anyway? We think we love our kids, we pamper them, we give them ice cream and, if possible, move into the areas with the so-called 'best schools'. Question is, however, what is a 'best school'? Is it one that leads the county in standardized test scores? Is it the one that has the best teacher to pupil ratio? Is it the best because it keeps a wary eye on your child's basic human dignity?
So, what is that? Dignity is defined as inherent worth, merit, and a dash of earned self-respect. I want to spend some time this September exploring what that would mean in a ideal school environment. We always ask, "How can we educate the 'whole person'. Well, this would be a really bold start, don't you think?