We all have homework in this house. For Rob and I, it's grading and prep. For Emma, it runs the gamut from Dynamath to book summaries, to posters.
Grading is boring, but I always enjoy prepping. I don't think Rob really enjoys much about teaching these days, but he gets it done, always at the last minute.
And Emma. Homework is such a challenge. It always surprises me how frustrated she can become, and how it is suddenly "impossible" to do what needs to be done before tomorrow! How could her teachers not understand the impossibility of the task?!
Mind, her school de-emphasizes homework compared to a typical public school, so she doesn't have hours and hours of it every night. I have heard horror stories from parents, and I'm always grateful that her school appreciates that kids should have some down time. After school what she wants most is to go out to her swing or rope and spend some time in her own head. She needs that time before settling in to more school work.
She has grown a lot this year in terms of responsibility --she no longer needs prompting to check her planner and manage her time, so that homework assigned a week ahead is done a bit at a time over the days available. Spectrum emphasizes choice, and her choices are beginning to reflect the best way to convey information, rather than what's easiest or most familiar.
We are both in the living room this evening, at 9 p.m. Normally she goes up to read at 8:30, before getting ready for bed at 9:15. But she has two posters and twelve buttons to create tonight. She chose to write a book summary as part of one of the posters. She was also supposed to color in the thirteen pictures she drew to illustrate a story she wrote for her pre-school reading buddy. Lots of art tonight, and she won't get it all done, which is okay.
The frustration has passed, and she's focused on completing her tasks in ways that satisfy her. I think we'll get to bed a bit late tonight, and she'll be coloring illustrations tomorrow morning as she eats breakfast.
There has been a lot of talk recently about funding of colleges and universities in Illinois. Currently, funding depends on how many students are enrolled at midterm. The future of funding may depend on how many students successfully graduate. The problem with this model is that it assumes all students come to us college-ready. Ready to think, ready to learn, ready to succeed. This may be true in some wealthier communities, but it is definitely not true here. If only every student could have the very best education before they came to college.
I don't know how to solve the problem of public education in the U.S. The schools that feed our college are failing, but it's not a problem the teachers can fix by themselves. College teachers can't fix a problem that started in elementary school either.
I would never recommend that anyone become a teacher these days. Certainly it's not a path I'd recommend to my daughter, even though both my parents were teachers. I pay taxes for local public schools and Emma's tuition. But her fabulous teachers aren't paid a living wage --most of them only survive because their husbands have better-paying jobs (there is only one male teacher, this is his first year, he's unmarried). And without unions, public school teachers wouldn't make a living wage either.
I wonder sometimes, whether we'll get to a point where no one wants to become a teacher anymore. Between the horrible experience in a classroom with 35 students and no resources, and the disrespect from the community, why is it a job anyone would want?