October 1, 2006
This I Believe
I believe that school should be optional. Not the actual building or the act of attending school, but the curriculum should be the student’s choice. There would be no core requirements, no three years of a language, three years of math, three years of science, etc.. Instead, the student would create their own curriculum.
Those of us interested in the arts would fill our schedules with classes such as ceramics, drawing and painting, metal smithing and theater all in the same semester. Sports fanatics would spend their days playing basketball, flag football, softball, and the like. In addition to what is already offered, classes such as beginning NASCAR driving, SCUBA diving, bull riding. Basically anything that one can imagine would appear in the course catalog. As for the serious students with their eye on the ivy leagues, naturally the usual classes would also be available, just not well attended.
There would be no grades, only credit-no credit classes would be offered. Attendance would never be taken, because it would not be a problem. Each class would be filled with students who were there by choice, not by requirement. Imagine how the atmosphere at school would change. Happy teachers, and even happier students. Lunch would be eaten only when hungry, and using the restroom would be at your own discretion, not when your teacher deems you worthy of a bathroom break. The library would be required to stock books students would actually want to read, and the drivers ed cars would all be Lamborghinis..
School would begin and end at the same time each day. First period bell at eleven o’clock and the day ending at three. By everyday I mean Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
All legal holidays would be observed, as well as one floating holiday per month and one’s birthday. Summer vacation would begin on May first and the first day back to school would be Halloween, costumes encouraged, but in no way required.
Really helpful things like filling out a job application, practicing for an interview, keeping a checking account and balancing your checkbook would be offered in a class called “Things That you Really Do Need to Know, and Will Actually Use in the Real World”. Also included in this class; doing your own laundry, basic microwave cooking, making a traffic court appearance, and how to get upgraded from coach to first class.
Due to the fact that there is no class rank, no G.P.A, no ACT, no SAT, no PLAN, no AP, no midterms, no finals, no required amount of credits to graduate there is also no stress, no anxiety, no competition, and no fear.
Yong children will begin to look forward to going school. They’ll begin planning their own curriculum in Kindergarten. High schools and colleges will begin turning out students who will make a living doing something they actually enjoy. The world will be a better place. And I for one, will look forward to that eleven o’clock bell on October thirty first telling me it’s time to get the keys to the Lamborghini waiting for me on the drivers ed range.
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