- Daniel Truslove
Customer Service, iiNet
A year without schooling...
I say, We have a problem… You look up.
Our schools are tired. They’ve been overworked, underacknowledged and undermaintained and now they are leaving in droves. Schools are leaving? you ask. And I respond yes.
How can a school just up and leave, its not like it’s got a brain? you ask.
Sure it does, I say, and a heart and arms and legs too. A school is not a place, you see. It’s a people. There are teachers, and students, who spend a third of every week there: breathing, mixing, learning, fighting… fighting for a chance to become something better than they are, to become what they should be. But right now they don’t feel like being a functioning system: they’re tired from the testing, from the lack of public support, from holding up the walls that threaten to fall down and hold up the ceiling that just keeps pressing down on them.
People say that educational reform is the way forward, you say.
No, I say, not educational reform. People reform. We need to help the brain and heart and arms and legs feel respected and empowered so the legs just don’t get up and carry the rest away. We need to give them motivation.
You mean pay teachers more.
No, not that alone. We need to give teachers the power to make the choices that will let them guide their student’s growth. And don’t keep thinking that this is all about the teachers or the administrators. We need to give students the power to make choices that will let them take their mentor’s guidance. We need to recreate communities so that the brain and the heart and the arms and the legs can work together again.
And we need to give them a rest. It sounds like something fantastic but how about we do a year without schooling? A year where everyone can just get back their breath, where they can learn in their own way, play in their own way, teach in their own way? Am I crazy, I ask?