May 25, 2012

Mother's confession: I'd rather not send my son to school at all

I'm tired on this school system. In fact - after Maru's first year in school - a year that started with such hopes and celebration - I'm at a point where I feel great resentment to send him there for another year.

I wish that in the summer of 2012 a wonderful school would magically appear, which recognizes the absolutely amazing potential that every human being has. A school where I could send my child without being afraid that he'll be turned into a zombie. 

As it's highly unlikely that such miracle would happen - as it feels that nothing, absolutely NOTHING has fundamentally changed in the school system since I walked away from there 10 years ago - the minimum I can do is to share my opinion (and thank god that my son is not reading my blog, as I'm doing a hard labor every day trying to give him reasons why it's important for him to put up with this s''''t that they call "educating").

Every child is born with an amazing potential

I gave birth to this beautiful boy 8 years ago. If you've ever seen a newborn baby you probably remember one thing very clearly - their eyes are full of wisdom. When you expect to see a helpless, mindless creature, you find an "alien" who seems to possess a godly intelligence and gives you a look of a king, who owns the world and the universe.

This is PURE POTENTIAL. And every caring parent who has ever seen this look in a baby's eyes is instantly sent off on a mission to do whatever is in their power to help this human to achieve as much from his potential as possible.

Then - countless amount of love and care, also countless number mistakes and errors later - my baby is 8 and is about to finish his first year in school. And we're back talking about his pure potential - but in a very different key.

Schools are focusing on weaknesses

I find myself discussing with Maru's teachers his WEAKNESSES - different situations in school where he didn't excel, where he misbehaved, where he didn't measure up to different standards. And when asked about Maru's strengths I hear an answer that makes me sick to my stomach: "He's a bright kid, he has a lot of potential."

It's not the first time I hear this good-sounding phrase, which is a clever way to say: "I haven't noticed any good sides in your son, I was so captured by recording and fixing his shortcomings." In a development-talk a few years ago in Maru's kindergarten I got the same phrase: "Well, he has a lot of potential."

Seriously? Every child is a born genius and I've witnessed this pure potential being turned into an amazing human being. I have no reason to doubt in my child potential unless he'd be born as a complete medical idiot.

As fortunately he wasn't, then I'm rightfully asking - what is the school doing today about this potential besides disciplining, warning, talking and homeworking it into a comfortable "box"?

Strong average schools are not enough

Maru's school is not bad, in fact - it's strong average. His teacher is not bad, she's strong average. Could be better, could be worse, can't complain.

What sucks is the system. The system that puts the child as the LAST and focuses on creating listen-carefully-and-follow-all-the-rules type of people.

Am I happy with this?


In fact - it makes me feel completely unsafe to send my child back to school. Unsafe because the world has changed and doesn't need the follow-all-the-rules type of people.

We need entrepreneurs. Connectors. Networkers. Creators. People with IDENTITY to be able to manage the HUGE amount of information we're dealing here every day.

It feels that schools are robbing children from this future.

There are better tools available

Now if you think that I'm too critical and radical then you're probably right.

Does this mean I should accept the system as it is? You bet no.

I know for fact there are better tools available. There are better and more flexible systems available that actually encourage learning.

It just feels that everyones too busy doing what has always been done, just keeping the system going so that there's no time for innovation. And it feels that the ones who once suffered in the same system have now grown into busy adults who have forgot to care (and forgot how much time they spent in various forms of rehap in healing the wounds that the system created).

I've come to the point where I'm open to every possible alternative.

PS: All the teachers who are EDUCATING children in the noblest sense of this word and who have managed to do so despite the school system - oh I wish you would all join under one roof, being led by an enlightened headmaster and showered by blessings by the lucky parents who's children can develop under your guidance. You're my heroes!