Monday, February 16, 2015

Response to "If I Ran the School" MMM

Let me begin by directing you to the article this is in response to... HERE.

I also want to say that most of what I am about to say is not popular opinion.  In fact, it is quite far from that and worthy of some flame...so go for it haters.  I also would like to say that this is not an attack on MMM or his ideals.  I simply disagree with some of the points on his most recent article.

I am now going to assume that you have read MMM's article, and if you haven't then go ahead and do so, because I won't be re-writing the whole thing here.

To begin...

I am a public school teacher.  Therefore I get pretty angry at the public's idea of "us" and what "we" do.  I get up early.  Every day.  5:15am to be exact.  Why?  So I can go to school and work out.  Is this required?  NO!  Does it make me a better and more energetic teacher?  HECK YES!  Then I work for about an hour before school on various email, grades, curriculum development, research, pdu's, etc...oh and my official day hasn't even begun yet.  After my main gig of teaching kids during the day, I usually coach or run some after school conditioning.  Usually I stay for about an hour after school even if nothing is going on.  Sure, I got crap that needs to be done at home, but I know that sometimes kids like to drop by and hand in make-up work or maybe they want me to go to one of their sporting events so they extend an invite.  They may not have parents or anyone at home that cares about them and I may be the only responsible adult in their lives they listen to, so that means I always have to be a "parent."  I'm not even going to talk about all the union issues, state issues, or extra meetings etc... This post would end up becoming a novel.  Did I mention I freaking love my job and do it because even if I only help ONE student a year realize a goal or achieve success it makes all the hardship worth it?  It is. 

(What makes me even more proud is the fact that a majority of the teachers where I work are just as kick butt as I am, and usually more so!  You really have to be to work in education these days).

Now on to some rebuttal of your article MMM...

Triple M states "Humans are naturally curious and energetic creatures, and if you set us free in the right environment, we will get to work learning, producing, and having a great time at it."

 Sorry bro, but I got to disagree with that last statement.  Humans by nature are self indulgent creatures who will choose the easiest path when it presents itself unless they are taught or held to a higher standard.

In other words we are naturally lazy, greedy, folks who left to our own wants and needs would self destruct.  MMM, you say yourself that you had to change your own needy ways all the time in your posts.  No more car clowning around and driving to the store when you can be a badass and bike there, even if it is a little chilly out.

That takes effort though.  Most humans you and I want to punch in the face for being so lazy.  These other humans are given free choice, yet they all chose to be lazy and in the end self destructive to their health.  Why?  Because it is easier to lay on the couch and sip soda while snacking than it is to go out for a five mile hike.

It is with this point made that I would like to give my opinion: Discipline is necessary.  

That's right.  I actually agree with the shushing of kids, teaching them how to line up, and delay the pleasure of talking to their friends.  It isn't about silencing their creative thoughts, it is about being respectful!  As a kid you have to learn manners, and that is something our children aren't being taught today with regularity.  Kids are being treated like adults, but they aren't!

You wouldn't let your kid drive a freaking car at age 7, or chew tobacco if he/she wanted at age 10...so why do we allow kids to talk back and do whatever the flip they please???  They don't have enough life experience to realize what they are saying or doing may or may not be appropriate.  It is our job as adaults, parents, and teachers to help guide them through their lives with a set of rules for their protection.  Can you go overboard...sure.  Telling the kids to be quiet and respectful in the hallways is not overboard!

1. They are respecting their teacher by doing what is asked.  This should be all the reason they need.
2.  If you need more reason than what was written above, try this.... By not talking they are actually helping the greater good.  They are not considering themselves to be more important than others.  By not talking they show others respect by not breaking the train of thought or lesson in another classroom.

As for getting in a line, it is actually the most effective and efficient way to move from point A to point B.  Running through the hallways and going wherever, whenever, is once again detrimental to the child's education. 

"Recess is for free, uninterrupted, imaginative play."  This is where you and I agree, recess need not be taken away from a child as punishment.  I can think of far more effective punishments (back of the line for recess perhaps) than abolishing it entirely.  I understand your disgruntled nature and wanting to pull your child from school.  This may not even be your only issue with the school...but I have a question for you.

MMM you have founded an entire website on being a bad ass, on overcoming adversity, on choosing the path less traveled by.  I ask you, are you affording the same valuable lesson to your child?  I don't know the details, but based on only what I've read would it not be better to keep him in school?

Should little MMM not be allowed to overcome adversity, instead of being saved by Mr and Mrs MMM?  Is this teaching little MMM that in the future when the going gets tough, its ok, you don't have to stick it out.   

The world ain't all candy shops and lollipops after all.  Rocky said it best when he said that the world will beat you to your knees and keep you there, if you let it.  There isn't always going to be a perfect job, perfect school, perfect teacher, etc... sometimes you just have to make the best of a tough situation and struggle through it.  That is what builds character.

Ding, ding, ding.

*I am in no means criticizing MMM's decision to homeschool his kid.  He knows his situation the best and has made the best decision in his opinion for his family.  I just merely wanted to provide an alternative opinion to the whole home school option.