Teaching in public and private schools has become more than wrestling with just the three “R”‘s.
The education of children starts in the home as a necessary partnership with educators. And children learn early on about authority, respect, discipline, healthy routines to keep a lid on the drama, emotional levels in the home. And vice versa, classes in school.
If there is a stable, happy home with consistent, thought out day to day activities, chores, conversations so everyone feels part of the family. An integral part of the family where each knows they would each be missed if gone. That each has a role, contribution in the growing up, family raising in the home. And that fairness, consistency is dished out in conflict resolutions.
If what happens early on before school and during the education of the child is missing consistency to avoid confusion, episodes of disrespect, unhappiness and chaos, the squeaky faucet, spigot opens.
Spewing of toxins can happen. And over time cause disharmony in the household. That spills into the classroom. Interfering with the educational process. And making for one unhappy child. Because the parent does not practice tough love, take the most important job he and she will ever have serious enough. Or is just ill equipped, blind folded in seeing the red flags, missed cues. Maybe a result of their childhood contributes to the family spiral.
The child too young to fix it him, herself.
Not knowing what is wrong and their role in gains and setbacks. Confused when everyone tries to make it better but can cause it to be worse with poor timing. Residential quick sand. Causing the child to try anything when leadership, authority in the home is missing. To take charge of a situation that can spiral out of control. Make life crazy for anyone around the unhappy child. That thinks others are responsible. They are. Someone has to be the full time parent. Not the child.
Teaching is not just shaping the child, preparing them for the big wild blue yonder. And yes, sometimes the cruel, not so fair world out there. But to be resourceful, to be creative and taught how to be happy. To make the most of any situation. That as Annie sings, reminds “the sun will come out tomorrow”. Bet your bottom dollar. To learn early on that there is a reason for the hub bub.
And like a sports team losing a game, that as the individual player, keep hustling harder, dig deeper. As you can still win. To not lose sight of the goal. To follow the dream. And know you and I are not the only one in it. Gain a lesson from the loss or setback. Take ownership, responsibility. Learn from it.
Hats off to parents, grandparents, neighbors, educators, coaches, high school business employers who have one of the most important jobs in a child’s life.
And knowing the education does not stop. Continues with all of us the longer we draw breath, live. And interact with a new crop of kids. The entire village in a small Maine town raises, shapes, guides its most precious resource. Their kids… the leaders, parents, educators of tomorrow passing on beliefs, values, lessons.
I remember teachers growing up like Mr Elwood Scott.
During listing a property on Drews Lake to sell, he told me to call him Woody. I told him I could not, and he will always be Mr. Scott. For life. Not just as a kid roaming the high school halls getting an education. Out of respect, and because I always will remember how he ran the high school. With authority, a little humor and a lot of fairness. He had to and it was kept simple. And I did not want to disappoint him. Don’t want detention, have to stay after school. Did not want to disappoint my parents who would back him up if I left some key points out of the story I spun. When I explained why I missed the bus, had to stay after school. And busy them had to please come get me. My Shenanigans, tomfoolery had made other lives harder.
Mr Scott had the support of the community. I am not so sure every community backs up the administration for fear of law suits today. Because little Jimmy or Suzie that runs things at school, has parents bamboozled at home too. Spoiled, not happy but very capable at getting what they want. At someone else’s expense.
But Mr Scott was consistent, would not tolerate disrespect and none of us questioned his authority. Neither would our parents, his educational partners. Just like the bus driver who made the call if you were acting out, distracting him on the school run that morning. Who had 55 other noisy, boisterous kids bouncing along the back roads around rural Maine on the way to school. Who had a job to make the morning pick up, afternoon drop off driving the bus in any weather that can suddenly happen living in Maine.