This I Believe

Frances - Grand Bay, Alabama
Entered on February 9, 2008

This I Believe

This I believe, that all children have their own gifts and talents, and that education should be a tool that allows them to develop those talents. I believe that children who learn differently shouldn’t be ostracized, and that education should be broad enough to encompass things that the children would like to learn and explore, for at least a few minutes every day. I believe that children who struggle with “the basics” should be allowed a chance to learn in a small, individualized environment without being singled out to be taunted by the other children. I believe administrators should think outside the box and find creative ways to allow the children smaller learning environments, so they can be successful with limited resources– elementary teachers do it every day. Why do we stop with them? Why can adults go to seminars of interest and not children? Do fine arts really need a separate budget, or can they be incorporated into more traditional classes? I don’t believe things need to be so rigid when America’s future is at stake.

I believe that children with severe behavior problems should have the right to interventions and explorations into their home situations without the “quick fix” of blaming the teachers. If a child exists in a dangerous or neglectful environment, then we have no business expecting them to learn until that situation is rectified.

I believe that by age fifteen a child should be allowed to take several classes that interest him, and that the children who have repeatedly failed should be the first ones allowed into their choice of vocational training. I believe we have had enough of name-calling and finger-pointing, and should be focusing on solutions with the children in mind, so that every child has the chance to be a fully participating member of our society. I believe that all this should be accomplished with as little government interference and paperwork as possible.

I believe that many competing theories should be examined and discussed in America’s high school classrooms. Students should be given a chance to defend various positions, to learn what they really think about the issues they will face. I believe that students should be taught to navigate through certain parental and financial difficulties before they can graduate. Most students will end up being parents. What use is learning a foreign language if you don’t know how to balance a check book, or that children feel safer with boundaries, or how not to be taken advantage of by that “easy finance” place down the road? Children who don’t know how to learn or explore, cannot possibly face a future where our technology is advancing at unparalleled speed.

I believe that teachers have a singular gift for pulling creativity from the most unlikely places, and that instead of being the brunt of criticism, and an easy target at election time, they should be celebrated for that contribution.