Concrete Ideas to Improve Schools and the Lives of Children
There are concrete things we can do to improve our schools and the lives
They need to be given more and higher quality attention.
They need to see that they have a future.
They need to see that they can change the world, even if only a tiny bit.
Moving toward these goals, we can:
~by Jeff, age 24
- SHOW THEM THE MONEY. I made $40,000 at my first job after college, with
only a bachelors degree, and $14.000 in loans to pay back. Some teachers
make less than $30,000 at their first job, with a masters degree and
$80,000 in loans to pay back. Pre-school care is in even worse shape.
The children know that adults are not willing to pay for a good education.
- FIGHT POVERTY. Some students will eventually use geometry and
trigonometry. All students would be able to use personal finance
math. All students should be able to calculate the value of compound
interest. All students should be taught to interview for jobs, or write
thier own business plan. How can people plan for the future if they are
not told how to read the map?
- NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE. If you wrongs are commited against people time
and again, and they have no recourse in the system, they will strike back
outside the system. Create systems that encourage dialog, assume
innocence, and give punishments that explicitly allow for rehabilitation.
Zero tolerance is just another way of saying we don't care enough to look
at the situation as a whole. It's a shortcut.
- KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS. Give individuals individual attention. If the
schedule and population is such that it is impossible for all students of
a school to recieve 1/2 hour a week of one on one time with a teacher you
need more teachers or less students at a school.
- LEARN BY DOING. Do something. Don't simulate, don't calculate, do
it. Set goals. Design the new playground. Lobby the school board to the
level they cannot ignore you. Bring the town to small claims
court. Start your own newspaper. Start your own business.
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© 1998-2017 Wendy Chapman