Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Problem with most public High Schools

When I went a semester to College of the Siskiyous near Mt. Shasta, California I had a professor that taught logic. One of the things he shared was, "Public High Schools have become babysitting services and reformatories all over this nation." Many of the students in the class debated him regarding this but I didn't. The reason was that this was also my personal experience in going to public school. I couldn't disagree with him even though I wanted to because of my loyalty of going from kindergarten through my Junior year in High School in public schools. And in Los Angeles my parents had even moved to Glendale specifically because they had the best public schools in Los Angeles County at that time. (1950s and 1960s). So I felt bad at not being able to argue with my professor about this. But what he said was true when I went to school and it was much worse now around 50 years later.

So, if people ask me, "How should I educate my child I will tell them, 'Don't send your child to public school, whatever you do.' Either home school them or send them to a really good private school or a combination of both if you want them to love learning for life. Loving to learn for life is actually the key to success. Boredom is the key to failure in school. If you aren't excited and interested in what you are studying there really isn't much point in going to school until you find something you love to study.

There is a great book called "Dumbing us Down" that I greatly recommend. In that book he points out that anyone who wants to read will learn "When he or she is ready". To force people to learn things they don't want to or aren't ready to learn is to kill the creative spark in them sometimes for life. This is my experience as well. I'm very grateful that I had a few teachers in public school that inspired me. I can count them on one hand. Mrs. Krell in 4th grade that pointed out to the class what a great writer and story teller I was. Mr. Addison who let us watch John Glen go off into space on TV in 8th Grade Science Class and demonstrated cool things like Electrolysis by breaking water into hydrogen and Oxygen right there in front of us with 12 volt direct current so oxygen boiled off of one electrode and hydrogen boiled off the other in glass tubes,  and various English Teachers and Social Studies teachers that made English and Social Studies(U.S. ,California and World History) interesting to me. Those were the main teachers that inspired me to enjoy learning, to always be curious, to always ask questions in classes both High School and College and the last most important thing, "There are no dumb questions so just keep asking whatever questions you have." More than half the time in both High School and College I noticed thankful looks from students when I asked questions because they were afraid to ask that particular question and it was pivotal to whether they understood both the material and knowing what the heck was going on in class or in regard to their homework or tests. So, "Just keep asking questions and stay interested in life enough to stay alive. Sometimes I think I stay alive just so I can see what happens next in my life, my kids lives and what happens in the world. Life is very interesting! If it isn't you might not be around very long. That's kind of how life really is!

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