Friday, October 7, 2016

I'm late...sorry! Random educational thoughts...

I'm extremely late with my post.  I have no excuse.  I had it written down.  As I type, I'm at the high school subbing in the Speech/Debate department.

I was in Speech and Debate in high school and college.  Even won awards.  It's been a long time for me, but listening to the kids in class gives me hope that Speech and Debate is still a worthy class to take.  Some school districts are taking classes out of the rotation because of money, time and having to teach to test.

One thing our district doesn't do is take classes away.  At the high school alone that have over 40 vocational classes to take.  Yes, 40.  I've subbed in those rooms, too and its impressive.  Most of these kids will have the skills it takes to either further their education or go straight into a job.  In fact, one student yesterday told me that he was taking welding now and planned on continuing to take classes after graduation.  One thing that made me mad was that he was a bit embarrassed by it.  I kid you not.  I told him that welding is a noble profession and the world still needs welders, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, etc.  Just because we live in a techie world now, the basic skills to build things will never die.

Jump 30 years from now and who is going to build rocket ships, space stations, etc.?  He will be and that's the point that I was trying to make to him.  Hold your head up and realize that not everyone will go to college to earn that business/medical/law degree.  Yes, do we need those professions?  But if the educational system would realize that a class as simple as welding, plumbing, carpentry, etc. is still in the district, more children would choose them.  We put too much pressure on kids today to make straight A's, pass the SAT/ACT and Common Core/STARR tests.

And what's worse is that when they do graduate from college, they have no marketable skills.  Sure they can surf the net, play on social media but can they build/fix things?  No, they can't.  They figure that someone else is going to do it for them.  Don't get me started on entitlement.  I've already has issues subbing because these kids rely on their parents to bail them out.

Anywoos...I'm so sorry that I'm late.  No excuses.


jean hart stewart said...

Great column and great thoughts. Good for you.....

Tina Donahue said...

Great post, Harlie. I read so often that STEM is the only place to be for students. That's nuts. If every single student in this country went into STEM how many of them would get jobs in the field? Right now, Microsoft, Disney, Southern Cal Edison and other major companies are bringing in foreign workers because they're cheaper - not because they're better. Americans in STEM are getting laid off right and left for big business to make more $$.