An overreacting parental rant. Maybe.

I don’t know about education. This pissing and moaning about the recent exam results for a start, if everyone got lower marks maybe the markers are finally telling the truth? Would you say that waves of people who are more intelligent than ourselves and our peers are leaving school and uni, picking up the threads of the establishment and industry and improving the nation in leaps and bounds of intelligence and inspiration? No, neither would I.
Holly is a couple of weeks in to her extended sentence of school captivity and already I can see where the system is currently at. She’s got homework every night already, which she does tackle with enthusisam, and double homework this weekend. It’s ridiculous, she’s still 4, it’s almost like they want to purge childhood and the inconvenience it brings to the smooth running of the school.
I can see influences in her drawings for homework that have obviously come from school, either teacher or classmates which we’ve caught and reassured her that she’s fine doing her own thing which she switched back to. I mean, Alberto Giacometti did just fine doing the same thing as she likes.
School should be about nurturing, finding skills and aptitude and facilitating their growth, not crushing and conforming. It looks to me right now that all the things I was suspicious about when I was at school myself are actually true. I was a round peg in a square hole by the time I got to high school, but my achievements at some stuff were a tool which could be used so I got away with being quirky. Until I discovered girls and guitars at which point my priorities changed and there was friction, but what the hell, I found my way.
Holly is a curve-ball and a daydreamer and I’ll be damned if I’ll let them change that. If they want it, it’s on, I’ve been there before and I won. I wonder where we’ll be by the time parent’s night comes around.

11 thoughts on “An overreacting parental rant. Maybe.

  1. Good on ye. It’s shocking how much the educational system stifles creativity nowadays. The pressure to conform exists throughout society and what defines people for me is a person’s ability to ignore it and be their OWN person. Trying to make a 4 year old conform is ridiculous, but we are talking about a system that is beyond reproach, unless you are lucky to drop on a teacher that doesn’t conform either.

  2. Being talking about this all day. The other dads seem to have noticed the same thing and no one is happy.

    I had supportive teachers as well as very by-the-book ones, I’ll just have to wait and see where it goes with the girl.

    Wasn’t expecting all this!

  3. She will find her way like you say, as her parents you’ll help her but I think you should let kids find their way and shape their own lives. Most people I know who were pressured to pass exams and go a set way in life have ended up in bad situations and setting themselves up for fail. I was told by the majority of my teachers that I would amount to nothing, but I’m mega proud of what I have grown up to achieve and the person I have become. The results would have to go up or down and a farce was always going to be made about it either way, it is ridiculous.

  4. I hated school, it was all about humiliation and ridicule, especially if your parents were skint. Teachers were a shower of bastards. If I met my primary three teacher again I’d punch her face in (supposing she’s still alive, the witch) …..and breath……

  5. School days are the happiest days of our lives…

    Not hearing much of that.

    I thing my attiude hardened when I was sent out into the corridor for refusing to back down on how to spell my own name. And history repeats for Holly.

    I’ve probably covered all this before, but it all comes to mind talking about this. In Home Economics (it’ll be something else now) we were asked about what parts of an animal we ate to which I replied “Er, the muscle..” I was cut off in mid sentence by “No, no, it’s the flesh”. To which I carried on with “By and large it is muscle, the cuts of which are given names, chops, sirloin etc, other parts of the animal that we eat usually retain their actual names such as kidney, liver etc” I was being a smart arse and I knew it and it was all over for me and that teacher for the rest of term. As I sat in the corridor.

  6. Not long back from holiday and this post really stuck out as term starts tomorrow for my two (the first one for the youngest) and also for my wife, who is a secondary teacher.
    I have to say your situation really doesn’t square with my experiences of both my children’s school and also the ones my wife has taught in. Of course there have been ‘less than great’ teachers, but on the whole it is about growing and not crushing. All I can say is I hope it all pans out in the long run. At least Dad won’t back off without a ‘fight’ ;-)

  7. It’s a lottery isn’t it? A friend of mine is a primary teacher and I’ve got two secondary teachers in the family, don’t know how I’d fare being a pupil of any of them.
    Joycee and I have good impressions of the Head so far though.

    My own good teachers I can still count as a positive influence today, the bad ones? Fuel.

    Holly did well today, her first day until 3 o’clock and her first school dinners. She aced it all :o)

  8. Don’t suppose you have a Rudolph Steiner school nearby? Bit tree hugging hippy for some, but they preach the kind of child-centred-go-your-own-way nurturing that you are craving.

    You have to pay though…

    Looked at one for our two but decided against (mainly because the buildings were ‘tired’)

  9. ” The pressure to conform exists throughout society and what defines people for me is a person’s ability to ignore it and be their OWN person”

    Best to avoid buying a Trailstar at the moment then!

  10. I know I’m moaning about it all, but part of me is glad, or aleast accepting of where she is. As much as I would have her avoid the hassle and the frustration I had, and which I can see she’ll face too, those pricks that I had to kick against are what taught be about the realities of human nature.
    I went to a rural-ish primary and a rough secondary and by the time I left I was ready to hug a tree or spit in your eye as was necessary.
    In the general population (I do keep going for prison metaphors don’t I) you learn social camouflage and also if not an understanding of other’s choices and actions maybe at least an empathy of sorts, an awareness of actions and their consquencies beyond what you yourself would instigate or be a party too. Stick the girl in a bubble and she’ll be detached and unprepared. I can’t win.
    But still, anyone pushes their luck with her welfare and I can see how it’ll go. I’ve already had the engine reving for ramming speed at a couple of incidents. Today’s being she’s home without her dinner money purse.
    Can’t wait until the morning.

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