I was doing my usual “I find public school distressing” rant to a neighbor, when she caught me up short. I had acknowledged, as I have done here, that my children’s teachers are very good at going through the curriculum, and my children are definitely learning. I complained, though, as I do here, that I can’t get away from the feeling that these women aren’t real educators, because they show such appalling ignorance when they’re unanchored from the curriculum — something that’s going to happen in even the most closely regulated classroom. My neighbor, who is kind and sympathetic, explained to me that I was putting the emphasis in the wrong place. The top goal in our school district is not education, it’s “nurturing.” What?!
Turns out my friend is absolutely right. If you go to the school district’s “Mission Statement,” you discover that the district’s top goal is to nuture the child, with education coming in second. I’m apparently appallingly old-fashioned to the extent that I believe it’s my job as a parent to nurture, and that it’s the school’s job to teach.
Feel free to weigh in with comments, given that I’m still scraping my jaw off the floor.