When my daughter started middle school this year, I was excited.  It was a new adventure and a challenge for her.  Now, 14 days until the final bell rings, I am regretful that she has had an awful experience for the first year of what is that “in-between” hell of education.  You remember that time?  Whether it was junior high or middle school?  Awkward fitting clothes, trying to fit into a mold that others have for you, learning stuff that admittedly now in my 40’s I have NO use for among with other far-flung shit.

It started with a phone call in September.  This whackadoo PE teacher called me about my daughter’s behavior.  Yep.  Two weeks in.  Back up and rewind 3 weeks.  I had sent the school a note specifically to the principal, counselor, psychologist and the vice principal outlining the issues our oldest has.  It was shared with her “core” group of teachers.  Apparently PE wasn’t high on the share list.  Neither was chorus, tech ed, art, or home econ.  So, this teacher wanted to tell em all about blah blah blah.  And then said the words “behavior contract”.  She went on for 5 minutes about what it was, how it worked, etc.  I tried to stop her.  It didn’t matter.  She didn’t listen.

Thus set in motion a year of shit for my kid between the PE teacher and her and the chorus teacher.  Funny, the “core” teachers, those class of math, science, social studies and language arts didn’t think there was an issue.  So, here were these two junkies, newbies in the education field or so it seems who thought a contract was a great idea.  Kinda like Truman thought dropping a big thing on Hiroshima was good.  I tried to explain she’d had these before and they DO.NOT.WORK.  Deaf ears.  Crickets.

All year long my kid has fought hard and has kept straight A’s.  However, at each turn, some shot is thrown at her by the PE teacher, the choir teacher and I’m beginning to think a few others.  When did it become common place to worry so damn much about kid’s and how they act in PE class?  I thought PE was supposed to be fun and about learning sports, health activities and the like?

And choir?  This guy sends a memo home last week for the spring concerts that has more errors in it than a first draft for a freshman in English class at Harvard.  What the hell?  Then the memo has “rules” for the show.  Apparently those rules were all tossed out the window.  Go flipping figure.

There are other things this year I don’t agree with.  From an educational standpoint and not just sticking up for my sometimes-PIA daughter who can manipulate Fidel Castro if given an opportunity.  Homework, no homework, weird homework that has no bearing on anything and is not relevant to the classwork, movies meant for 7 year olds taking up two days of instructional time to teach one song, a movie about a guy who tries to kill people with a hatchet….and the list goes on.  We won’t touch “common core” math, as there is not a single thing that is common about it.

All I know is this.  Public education is NOT what it used to be.  Education is no longer a priority.  Teaching kids isn’t there.  Making them into molds and sending them out with garbage that they can recite and throw back up is what it is now.  And bless his heart, our Superintendent is about as lost as a dog at the cat shelter.  I would’ve used another comparison, however common sense said no.  They teach them to test them.  Not to see that they have learned anything.  It is kinda like the difference between hearing and listening.  Hearing is a sense, listening is an ability and something you have to do.

In this day and age, maybe I expect too much.  Maybe it is age.  However, I believe that when all other things are gone, the few constants in life that remain are love, decency, common sense and education to name a few.  Education is central and the backbone of not only our world in order for it to function, but society as a whole.  Without it, we are nothing.  We should be educating our children and helping them learn.  Not just spewing crap for them to show us they heard from you as the teacher and testing them on it.  It doesn’t and won’t work that way.

Educators get paid crap most of the time. I get it.  However, you took the job knowing it.  Just like a cop, or a firefighter.  To serve.  To educate.  To shape and mold minds.  Now, if you could politely get to it, society would appreciate it.