Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's really about the STUDENTS

Let not young souls be smothered out before they do quaint deeds and fully flaunt their pride.*

I was going to say 'kids' but that's somewhat adultist...children doesn't usually bring up the image of older teenagers and young adults, so it's students, for now.
It really is about them. You families (adults, parents, older care-takers, legal guardians) just happen to be the ones who will most care and be in the strongest position to defend, encourage, believe in, and hope the best for the students.
I state this because the blog is titled Parent Leadership in Education. I'm not really a parent advocate, per se, but from a practical organizing point of view, have to go with the line of least resistance.
Families are not perfect, but then neither are children. I'm a child advocate because that is the specific group I have made my vocation and my work. It could have been workers or the environment or any other cause that I consider important and vital to a healthy society. I just decided.
As I support parents in having and creating the best possible neighborhood public schools for their children, I'm not romanticizing or idealizing families. None are perfect and few are candidates for sainthood by RC Vatican standards, but they are the ones I will defend and support.Too much is said against them. Even as Cosby and others support a logical and rational taking on of responsibility, I still see institutions, specifically schools, thinking and saying bad things about groups of families and children.
"It is the world's one crime its babes grow dull, its poor are limp, ox-like and leaden-eyed."*
So, to help swing the pendulum toward the other side, to balance out the overwhelming blaming of 'those' families and children, I'll raise the banner high and scream (though it might sound like a strange croak coming from an old geezer) Let's value parents...er...families, who'll be the loudest cheerleaders shouting
"Hooray for the children" er...students.

*Vachel Lindsay's "The Leaden Eyed". One of my favorite poems in the first Junior English textbook I used in San Felipe High School in the mid 60s.

1 comment:

Diego Leal said...

Hi there, Aurelio!

Just a quick comment: I understand your focus on children and young adults, and the reasons why you chose the word "students".

However, trying to think further and hoping to make sense of all the "life-long learning" discourse, I would rather use the word "learners". So, it's really about the learners, in my view.

It's about the possibility of being able to choose what you want to learn according to your potential (of course, once you have taken care of some of Alan Kay's non-universals, like reading and writing). It's about freedom and deliverance (what Freire used to suggest) to make sense of the world, beyond the point of view of someone or some group.

So, I agree that families are not perfect, and neither are children. But what if we dare to think of ourselves (the whole family) as learners? What if we accepted that neither of us know the "truth"? I have the feeling that, when you think of yourself as a learner, you have no choice but to open your mind and to listen what other people (even your own children) have to say.

Um, I'll better leave it here... It's turning much longer than expected.. :D

Keep up the good work!

(Here I am, a Spanish native speaker, taking the chance of writing in English, and hoping to improve! :D )