Friday, September 17, 2010

What's the point?

I love how my world gets to revolve around the pursuit of knowledge, and in the background, I continuously question for what purpose?

When I was in my last semester of student teaching, I remember our TA always asking us to question why we were teaching, what we were teaching, and how we were teaching.  I became so frustrated with him because his questioning was not applicable to my 'here and now'.  That kind of thinking served no point for the student teacher...I remember challenging him, saying something like 'he was asking us to question how we ran before we could even walk.'  I just wanted to know how to make a bunch of 17 year olds listen to me and hopefully learn something.

Now I get it.  I am in a place and time where that makes sense.  I taught high school for six years.  I taught preschool movement classes for a year (somedays, toddlers are just like sophomores, and vice versa).  I was the teen director at our YMCA.  Now, I work at a technical college, helping adults to get their GED or HSED. 

All of this experience truly leads me to 'what's the point?'  I see the adults I work with struggle with finding the area of a triangle, both of us knowing, for a fact this time, that they will never again use this in the real world.  Is it the struggle that earns you the right to say that you graduated from high school?
As adults, they are still cramming and regurgitating for a piece of paper, fulling knowing the futility of the exercise. 

 I am fortunate enough to home school our two kiddos.  Seeing what ultimately is supposed to be the outcome of a high school education gives me a sneak peek of what traditional schooling holds out there for the basic requirements to send one out into the world.
The most precious thing about my children's learning is their love of learning, without labeling it.  Kind of Taoist...don't label it, categorize it; it just is what it is.

Now I find myself doing the delicate tightrope walk of not only maintaining that love of learning, but balancing it with life, liberty, and the pursuit of property.  (Sorry, we're studying the Constitution.)

It would be criminal for me to crush their spirits.  Somewhere, that happened to every single adult that I work with at MPTC.  I hear how they hate to read, hate math, what's the point?

Leads me to even more questions, what, ultimately is the point?  Now that my children and I can walk together, I am questioning, only 15 years after student teaching, how can we run together.  And I don't want them to ever have a finish line...

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