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Lesson Plans

Blind Eugenie's Poem

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Mon, 22 Apr 1996 23:26:10 -0500 (CDT)

First: Thank you, Sandra Eckert, for your thoughtful remarks.
Second: The opposite of bad educational practice is not "freedom" - it is=
GOOD educational practice. It sounds as if Blind Eugenie has worked at=
some VERY bad schools. I don't argue the fact that there are some pretty=
grim situations out there; I simply disagree with the proposed solution. =
Most of the little kids at my school love their teachers. They stop loving=
most of their teachers at about the same time that their parents become=
"those idiots who don't understand anything". By Eugenie's reasoning, I=
guess we'd better ditch the family as well, since it doesn't always bring=
the little ones joy. Siblings can REALLY make your life miserable,=
so..."off with their heads". =20
What brings us joy? Certainly, freedom is a valuable component of=
happiness: freedom from fear, freedom from hunger, freedom from want and,=
yes, freedom from bad teachers would be a great thing. But I would ask,=
"When are we truly happy?"
I am not simply happy when I am "free". Of course I am happy relaxing on a=
beautiful spring day or sightseeing in the Rockies. But most of my moments=
of true joy have come as a result of accomplishment - either mine or that=
of someone I care about. Accomplishment comes as result of hard work and -=
dare I say it - discipline. Look at the face of a child who has just=
learned to read or tie her shoe or ride a bike. Take away structure and=
discipline and hard work and you can forget about curing cancer or ballet=
dancing. I will agree that if you have a teacher or a school which stifles=
creativity, you greatly reduce a child's chance of achieving joy. But=
where is it written that THOSE examples represent THE SYSTEM? I am=
familiar with some wonderfully creative programs in public schools. My own=
experience in private schools has been incredibly positive. There is=
nothing inherently evil in the system. Even freedom taken to extremes can=
be destructive. What we need is that BALANCE so many of us have been=
talking about lately. I am reminded of a sign which was posted in my very=
first school. It read "Children should not do what they like - they should=
like what they do." Most of the teachers I know go to great lengths to=
make their classes exciting and enjoyable. But at the end of the day, if I=
have a choice between making a kid "happy" or teaching him to read or write=
or compute or appreciate great art or make wonderful music, I will take=
the latter, because with those skills, the child can make his own happiness=
for years to come. =20

  • Maybe reply: DebbieDBAE: "Re: Blind Eugenie's Poem"