Friday, September 11, 2009

the journey's the thing

View of a dirt road lined with trees

i'm fresh from back to school night at the high school, sitting through quick ten minute presents from the teachers about the class and i was struck by a very sad fact. most of the teachers made sure to tell everyone how they grade and the weight of tests vs. homework and meeting the benchmarks and yada, yada, yada.

example: honors chemistry. i was a chem major in college (for a year and a half anyway) and i LOVE chemistry. i would have liked to have known what kind of experiments they are going to do, what cool stuff they might learn. sure i'd like my kids to get good grades but i'd rather they have enthusiasm and a joy for a subject than an A.

parents here (and maybe it's everywhere but definitely the case in my little slice of california) are so focused on the end, on putting that A or B or weighted grade on junior's report card so they can get into Harvard (yeah, probably not, and definitely not in our house :) ) that very few teachers discuss what they are going to teach. and to me that makes for a sad day.

to me, learning should be the absorption of new concepts and ideas and the steps along the way, the journey's the thing.

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