School’s In for Summer
As the month of July comes to a close most children in the traditional school settings will be returning to their classrooms within the next 2 to 5 weeks. Some have been reading or going to different camps and others have probably spent a large portion of their summer in front of a Wii or Facebook. Summer is a great time for parents and other mentor like adults to make the biggest impact on students. My parents made sure I was well prepared for the world and the classroom before the next school year rolled around by enhancing our informal education and setting high standards.
Each summer my mother would take us out of school approximately two weeks before the year started or two weeks before the year ended. Most parents wouldn’t dare trying this especially since we would be home all day for the summer and “needed” to spend every moment in the classroom. Well my mother didn’t agree with that philosophy at all. She preferred to nurture our minds with experiences outside of the classroom. No TV in the bedrooms, limited TV if at all during the school week, lots and lots of reading, went fishing with my dad, camped in the back yard, played all kinds of instruments, and often museum visits. We played a lot with each other and even made our own home music videos. Each summer my family would use those extra weeks towards our annual trips up and down the East coast with anywhere from 6 to 9 of my siblings in one vehicle. One summer we even drove from South Florida to Canada. These trips were most exciting and continued from the time I was in elementary school until my junior year in college. We would stop along the way and learn about the states we were passing through, the history of our culture in each place and visit family. My most memorable stops were always Savannah, GA, Washington, DC and Philadelphia, PA. Reading was simply a requirement. The books we read were mainly about our culture and successful people around the world. I think that was when I began to develop an interest in non fiction, especially biographies. I cherish those summer trips and learning experiences I shared with my family. I know these trips along with some very special teachers are what sparked my interest in education. The American school systems miss the mark in almost every subject across the board, so my summer trips helped to pick up the slack.
Now I spend my summers traveling, studying other schools systems and getting ready give my students a richer education each year. I do this because I see each child as a new opportunity to make a positive difference in the world. Tests, evaluations, salaries nor achievement gaps deter me from giving my best to any child. We must continue to take our childrens’ education seriously, as early as two years old. It’s not just about teaching them the test or making the deans list every semester. Children must know that someone cares about their educational success and they have to be groomed to compete on a global level. I plant seeds of success, faith, dignity, integrity and a love of service to the community in every child I teach. By imparting quality information and a positive attitude I feel like I am paying it forward. They know within the first lesson that I have high expectations because I know that they can ” be the change they want to see in the world” M. Ghandi.
This is a short list of films every teacher, mentor and parent should see. Try a movie night with friends or other parents. Netflix has #1 and #2.
Top 3 Films
1. The Lottery
2. Waiting for Superman
3. The Finland Phenomenon: Inside the World’s Most Surprising School System
Posted on July 20, 2011, in Conscious and tagged child education, education, Facebook, Summer School, The Finland Phenomenon, The Lottery, Waiting for Superman, Wii. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.