Exploring the Human Condition: altered states of consciousness

Posts tagged ‘education’

Education, Spirituality and our Children

Supposing it is too late to radically improve the education of those over 30, let’s look at the little ones and what is happening to them. When I look back on my elementary education, all I truly remember are the fun things, like when my second grade teacher Mrs. Archibald, would read to us after lunch.  She always chose books that I related to totally.  Like The Boxcar Children.  

My point here, is that teaching must significantly connect with the minds and hearts of children for it to work. Of course, there are always extraordinary teachers and extraordinary students who can communicate and amazing achievements are borne of it.  But what about the kids, not unlike I was, that just can’t retain all the historical dates, war facts and such.  What would happen if the special talents and abilities of children were identified individually early on, so that their education could be tailored in such a fashion as to enhance these traits instead of squashing them.  

Perhaps it is the age-old question of the chicken and the egg.  Which must come first:  students that grow up to become amazing people, or the teachers required to make those students amazing.  The only things I know about education is what I received during my life through university days.  So it is fairly ridiculous for me to speak about education reform, yes?  Well, maybe not. Although at first, I was not totally understanding and agreeable with the concept of home schooling, it appears that this method of education has it’s place.  Perhaps the children raised in such a way will not be subjected to intense conditioning.  Perhaps their innate creative genius will be encouraged to such an extent that they can improve and evolve naturally into the person they were meant to.  

If education does not provide us with thoroughly alert and directed individuals, full of excitement and fresh for the chance to put their mark on the world, what in the devil is it doing anyway? Paying salaries, babysitting? I had a friend once, who was uncommonly clever and she finished University with a teaching certificate and began to teach 3rd grade in a major metropolitan city.  I feel in order for her to achieve that point in her career, she had to make concessions, and had to really strive to adhere to all the requirements, to be accepted and to graduate.  But after her assignment to the first school, her ideals changed drastically.  Fitting in with the other teachers and the administrators was not that easy anymore.  I am sure that whatever amazing talents she might have brought to the classroom were minimal in their effect due entirely to the dedicated cirriculum she was forced to strictly follow.  

Of course, a lesson plan, an overall goal of teaching is necessary.  I am just saying that perhaps there should be more individualized teaching scenarios, and that these cirricula need serious reform.  How is it that so many people grow up and can’t balance a checkbook? So many people grow up and don’t have a clue how to grow a potato.  How is it possible that so many people grow up and have absolutely no idea what to do with their lives? This does happen here in the United States quite often.  It produces minimum wage workers.  

Some people might be okay with that.  But I went from the 22nd floor of the Commerce Bank building to the inside of a convenience store just so I could understand it.  As hard as I might have worked, the minimum wage for uneducated people was sorely lacking.  Being that poor severely limited my ability to keep proper shelter, and normal things Americans come to expect. Not to mention that health care was non-existent.  That would also include dental.  

Now going back to the lawyers to work, I had insurance coverage.  But they heavily frowned on taking off work for doctor’s appointments.  Actually, ever leaving your work station was frowned upon.  So my 22nd floor job was little better than a minimum wage situation.  If you typed 110 wpm, they expected you to stay at your keyboard 8 plus hours a day and type 120 wpm, as you transcribe and draft legal documents.  Since I had a little snap, my attorneys just gave instructions, and not so much verbatim dictation, which was the only thing about it even tolerable to me.  

I propose to you that people can work and still maintain productive and joyful lives. This is where that “slave” term comes in.

It is my experience that feelings and needs change as often as the sun will rise and set each day.  I was just lucky that my teachers had instilled enough practical knowledge in me that I could go out as a very young woman and find gainful employment instead of being stuck at minimum wage.  I was a music major at University among some 12,000 others but did not graduate.  Truly for that, to be a musical performer or teacher, you need an entire entourage of encouraging and supportive people, or you won’t make it.  I did not have that.  I worked at the newspaper every evening until midnight or later typing classified ads, just to make rent and bills.  There was little time left for practicing or writing papers.  And when I would try to read my assignments, I would just fall asleep from exhaustion.  

Last summer, I made a good friend.  He is a teacher in Ottawa, Canada.  He spent his summer in a country in Africa, trying to teach the children there.  When I look back at his blogs and pics, I can see such a huge difference in the attitude of the people and the children.  They were keen to learn.  They wanted to be exposed to any and all of the good things to know.  I see children in the classrooms of America, so lacking in proper nutrition, and most likely dealing with stress far beyond their years… how is it even possible to produce independent thinkers from a situation like this?  

Maybe it takes a total breakdown of sorts in the system, for it to be built back properly into something that will produce healthy, intelligent people that can handle simple finances, people who can make tangible goals for their lives.  Maybe growing plants and understanding Botany will come back into the early classrooms. Perhaps Farm Management or even Household Management might be one idea, the earlier the better.  

Natural selection must be at play here, as only the really gifted kids emerged as doctors and critical thinkers. People don’t usually seem inclined to favor change, even when it might mean better living.  That is something I cannot begin to understand.  Watching mothers inside refugee camps in Africa, so hungry and watching their babies dying, I have often asked myself, “Why don’t they just get up and go somewhere else?”  Well, that was years ago, and now I see there is so much more to it than that.  

Maybe the minions of evil have succeeded to a large degree.  From my mother to me, both were cursed with a twisted spine.  If that isn’t a huge red flag, what does it take?  What animal on earth is found later in life with a curved and twisted spine? Only humans? Along with that malady, I also did not produce any children.  So effectively, this one American family has been reduced or actually stopped dramatically.  Due to the corporate gods that rule our country, the food we are offered in grocery stores has been stripped, modified, radiated and adulterated to the point that it can’t even be called food.  So many people go to work every single day without proper nutrition, stressed out, worried, exhausted, sleep-deprived and hungry.  Is it no wonder that 5 p.m. is insane?  

If I had it to do over, I might stay here.  But I would never eat anything without knowing exactly what it was.  Trust doesn’t figure in anymore.  I wouldn’t give my life over to any job, unless the owners of the company respected its people and treated them fairly.  The absolute only way you can ever do well in life, is to work for yourself, doing what makes you most happy and pleased.  Mothers as well as educators need to recognize the individual talents of the children they raise and encourage them to pursue the right path.  Truly, to register your child into public school, submit to all the vaccines, and then have absolutely no idea what is being said or taught to your child, this sort of thing can and should be changed or avoided altogether.  

How does one do that?  I heard a mother state recently that she would do anything for her child, whatever it took.  Well, if it takes moving out of the city to find some land to raise your children on, would you do that?  If it meant going to public meetings in your community to stay on top of lawmakers, would you do that?  If it means standing up to people who may not agree with you, would you do that?   If it meant hiring tutors or teaching them yourself, could you do it?  If it meant growing your own food instead of giving all your income to the grocery store, would you do it?  Could you do it?  

Education needs to have some personal aspect to it. In America, the children in daycares often find their first word is “Mine!”  How can we change that mind-set over to sharing and caring for others? If it requires spiritual teaching to do this, then I fear that the predominantly Christian schools and churches have failed miserably. Here’s what I will say:  if you have something, you can share. If you have breath, you can open your mouth and have your voice heard.  If you’ve been so beaten down over the years that you think you no longer have a voice or even want one, you simply must think again.  Complacency got us here, so determination will surely get us out again.  Just remember, you have the ability to create your own world.  We always did.  And if something bigger than us all can control our weather, cause tsunamis, and build Hadron colliders, surely we can stand up for our own health, education and welfare.  

Whatever “they” are doing or planning in space, we have no choice but to continue on living, the best we can.  Not as slaves to the dollar, not to pay off ridiculous stick houses that won’t even be here in a hundred years, but to be the amazing humans we were born to be.  Find your heart, and your spirituality, and then please, save the children!  It’s our only hope!

I Matter!

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