October 5th World Teacher’s Day

Some of the finest people I know are teachers. They work hard everyday trying to educate those that need to be educated, want to be educated or are forced to be educated. Let’s face it, there are those who want to learn, those that have to be forced to learn and those who just seem to learn no matter what the subject matter is.

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Most of us think of the old school spinster who put others education beyond their own happiness. Having spent 23 years working with teachers, in some cases that is true… but it has been changing over the that are vital, young and filled with life. It is the system that fails them, not the other way around.

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The teacher comes into class expecting to teach young minds and open doors for them. The system shuts those same doors by making teachers deal with administrators, parents and societies short-comings. In this ME-Me world, a teacher who generally is there for others gets caught between what is right and what they have to do because we all know, everybody’s child is perfect.

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Today was created by some of those worst offenders, UNESCO. Director-General Frederick Mayor suggested the day in 1993, at a conference in Geneva. In theory, it’s a great day, a day to celebrate those who do what we cannot… teach. But in all honesty, a teacher today spends 70% of their time doing what society forces them to do instead of teaching.

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As a result things like the arts, history and  anything but science and math. I do agree, we need science and math but not every child will become a scientist. The world still needs great auto mechanics, dramatist and historians. Let teachers teach what they know… not what society tells us they have to know. As much as we are in danger of losing the next great scientist, we are equally in danger of losing our what makes us unique.

How to celebrate – Thak your local teachers for all they do. Let the school system teach. Pay close attention to what those running for school boards are actually saying.

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May 8th National Teacher’s Day

Having worked in  the school system I know that like in any job there is, there are good teachers, and there are bad teachers. The good ones are there because it is a career for them, they want to teach and help others, the bad ones are those who just use it as a step to get to the next job. What the good ones have to do is beyond ridiculous. The mass of paperwork and responsibility of being better to peoples children than the parents are themselves is unreasonable.

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Elementary school is a constant effort to get kids to pay attention, middle school is a constant effort to make a child realize they don’t already know everything and then high school is right back to trying to get children to pay attention again. The biggest problem is that as children get older, the more they think of themselves and the less they think at all!

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It can be a demanding job physically but it is a constant mental strain. Since no two people are alike, the way to reach them is equally as different. Most class sizes are 26 people theses days and means you are dealing with 26 different identities at once.

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True teachers are very special people, and not always found in schools. A good mechanic can be a great teacher, a musician can be a great teacher, a lawn care person can be a great teacher… but none of them have gone out with the idea that they are going to teach, they just happen to do it. To become a teacher and actually want to educate children rather than just get a paycheck is a very admirable position.

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I admire those that commit themselves to making someone else grow and be better than they could be without help. And the stupid, stupid rules society forces educators to take only shows just how bad the teachers were when they went to school. And society is making it harder everyday. We need to understand we don’t deserve getting a good education, we earn the right to be taught.

How to celebrate – Thank a teacher for what they do. Learn what society actually puts a teacher through. Become involved with your child’s education.

September 28th National Ask A Stupid Question Day

Is there a stupid question that can be asked? Well, maybe… asking if there is a stupid question one can ask! The only way one can learn is by asking, and what may seem less intelligent to those of us that have experienced the subject of the question to someone who hasn’t, it’s not stupid at all.

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The day was actually created back in the 1980’s by teachers. Why? Well that is probably a stupid question… because we all know we learn more by asking than just waiting around to hear the answer to our question that may never come. So ask, maybe you lose a little pride, but who cares, if you learn for the next time then you can answer someone’s stupid question!

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As Forrest Gump put it, “Stupid is as stupid does”. It is so true! Not knowing an answer and not trying to find out the answer is the only stupid thing one can do. In all honesty, I have learned more myself by having to find out the answer to something someone asked me.

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So raise your hands and ask those questions! Or join the Society for Stupid People, because if you don’t ask, you will be one of them. Just ask any woman who is with a man who is lost and won’t ask for directions. The answer is, stay lost then!

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How to celebrate – Go ahead, ask that question you’ve always been afraid to ask. Encourage children around you to ask questions. Realize that when you get that answer to your stupid question, you aren’t stupid anymore.

April 21st National Kindergarten Day

Since 1837 people have found the benefit of sending their children to Kindergarten, whether it is to get them started early in their social development, a jump start on their educational requirements or because in today’s world so many people have to work to pay the bills, Kindergarten has now become a requirement.

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Frederich Froebel started Kindergartens in Germany. is idea was getting children acclimated to going to school. At first it was just for a half day as he did not want to tax the children, forcing them to grow up faster than they would without school. Through many mother’s tears, the idea has caught on even adding Pre-K to many school across the United States.

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There is little doubt that children do benefit from the earlier exposure to the world. They normally become more challenged and definitely are able to blend into first grade without the same stress. It allows the expectation for children to learn faster and retain more since they have had that extra year, or two, in the system.

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But there are risks involved too. Children become more independent often leading to other issues later on and children not ready to meet the demands of Kindergarten are labeled. Every child has their own personality and abilities. Some are ready at the age of 5 to begin their introduction to society, others take longer. And some meet friends that they will keep for the rest of their lives.  Each child needs to be evaluated on their own skill level but over-all, Kindergarten provides children with the chance to grow faster, learn more and the ability to blend in to society.

How to celebrate – If you have a child in Kindergarten, spend a little time volunteering there to help. Remember your days in Kindergarten, if you can remember that far back. If you have a child in Kindergarten make sure to take plenty of pictures , you will never have these days again.