We went to meet The Girl’s English teacher this week.
Wow. I don’t envy him that job. A root canal might be more fun than teaching English to 14-year-olds, and I am terrified of the dentist. I always loved English but those early teen years are not the easiest to harness in a classroom setting.
What was even more amazing than the fact that he was surviving, and still had a sense of humour, was that he was trying to do more than just make sure the kids read Shakespeare. This class is about learning to take responsibility for your own Education. It’s about learning to take good notes and learning how to do a big project on a schedule, rather than waiting for the night before it’s due. It’s about listening and learning to speak to make sure you are heard. These are huge life skills that many people, not just hormonal, distracted 14-year-olds, don’t have.
They may not be lessons The Girl, or the other kids, really want to learn but they are important none-the-less. They’re lessons that we’re struggling to teach at home and it’s really nice to know someone at school is trying to reinforce them.
I still think we don’t teach kids enough of the essentials of writing like grammar, spelling and punctuation (I didn’t get them enough when I was in school and it seems to only be getting worse in the era of social networking and text messaging) but it is nice to know real life lessons are being taught.
Now, the challenge is to find a way to help them sink in!