Educators Haven't Learned Anything

Our daughter is in a split 4/5 class. There are two 4/5 splits in her school. My confidence is shaken in a school where they haven't grasped that 1/2 + 1/2 = 1. They really can take all of the Grade 4s from the two classes and put them in one Grade 4 class? Then, do the same with the Grade 5s? I honestly don't know why this is: I sit in the cheap seats and don't participate in the PAC (Parents Advisory Council).
My daughter has had some earnest teachers who seemed to really try to give her the best education possible.
In years past, I've come to know a lot of teachers outside of their teaching roles. My friend came from a family of teachers. My wife worked with a bunch of people who's spouses and their friends were teachers. Of these two samplings, what a bunch of bitter ambivalent people I've never seen elsewhere. It was like going to a Nirvana suicide pact clad in tweed.
I think the teachers' hands are tied are tied by the curriculum, cutbacks and the helicopter parents. As pointed out: 7 of 11 courses for her subjects have no bearing on academics. Is this because it allows kids to bomb out of the academic courses but still pass has because they rocked Phys Ed. and Daily Physical activity? Good teachers make school relevant, but the courses and the system at the baseline is a failure.
When I was in Grade 9 Science (I have to remind you that this is about Science), I was sad to hear a teacher tell us that water doesn't so much flow downhill, it actually flows towards the equator. He was able to prove it: The Fraser River travels south to the ocean. The Amazon empties north toward the equator. Even the Nile flows north into the Mediterranean (I didn't have the heart to bring up that the mouth of the Nile is in the northern hemisphere).
Fast forward a generation. Kiddo had a First Nations subject in Grade 2. There are hundreds of cultures that we need to appreciate, but this one got up to the front of the batting order. Okay. She happily told a friend of ours of First Nations heritage that "Konichiwa" is "First Nations" for "Hello." Where do I start with how wrong that is? There is no "First Nations" language: there are hundreds of languages among the First Nations, a number of those are under threat of evaporating as the speakers die off-- something we should be mindful of. Worst still, the Japanese word for "Hello" (Konichiwa) is not among those languages. She would have been better off getting no lessons than be taught a string of things are all so completely wrong. Right or wrong, that lesson filled an important role: each hour of schooling ticks her one hour closer to graduation.
I tell her to be good at school: to be good to her teacher and her classmates. I don't make the mistake of telling her to "learn lots." Learning is the tertiary role of the education system.


About Us said…
We have had lots of split classes at our kids school. Usually it is about numbers. If you have a total of 50 kids in the two grades and they are 24 and 26 then ok, you can have two separate classes. If you have 15 and 35 kids it makes more sense to have two split classes.

The other stuff am appalled at. If I ever hear of such factually inaccurate crap I think I will be in the principal's office the next day asking questions.
Cheryl said…
The thing that gets me is that some of the factually inaccurate crap doesn't make it out right away -- she waited a good 18 months of remembering the Konichiwa blunder before she proclaimed it as fact -- which could also mean she mis-remembered it.

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