Friday, January 23, 2015
Ramblings of a renegade mother?
Harnessing their enthusiasm while it is still ripe and teaching them to be for others instead of themselves. And would that be a lesson that would TRULY stick with them?
I was a middle school teacher and I am very aware that three years from now a lot of what those kids have right this minute will be gone. They will be too cool for this or that, or too jaded already to show such enthusiasm for a school related project.
Fundamentally I have very little issue with DARE, functionally? Oh man. Sigh. Six kids read essays, and Jack was chosen as one of them. He was the only child to mention the "decision making model" which is the WHOLE POINT of the program these days. The others just recited what might be questionable statistics. While I am very proud of Jack for writing an excellent essay, our conversation this morning sums up everything I think is wrong with programs like this.
"Jack are you supposed to wear your medal to school today?"
"No, they didn't say I should. But they didn't say I couldn't."
Props to him for being proud of it and wanting to show it off. But it illustrates the failure in this whole thing, no? For RIGHT NOW they are (somewhat begrudgingly at least at home) still following along with the program. Right now they won't smoke cigarettes because someone is telling them NOT to.
We have 20 something elementary schools in our district. Our school ALONE would have 1,500 man power hours if each kid only did TEN hours of community service. Over twenty schools? That is an amazing amount of man power hours these kids could be giving. Would it give them a truer sense of self? A sense of worth and accomplishment? A feeling of community that would outlast a lecture on the dangers of alcohol? (I still think that information is important, but perhaps it's just as well served by having our kids have health classes EVERY year instead of just one year in high school.)
I happened to read The likely cause of addiction article just as all of this was already swirling around in my head and it cements my feelings on "propaganda night" pretty perfectly.
If you haven't read that already, it's pretty enlightening reading. And well worth reading, particularly if you have kids and are pondering how to help them navigate the stickier parts of growing up.