Last night, I had a meeting at our lower elementary school for kindergarten entry. I had been under the impression that this would be a meeting discussing the assessment program (we already have our date scheduled) and what that would involve.
Alas, the first 40 minutes reeked of bullshit.
Perhaps it is just me. I wanted to stand up and say "Is it just me, or is this a bunch of bullshit?" They invited a child psychologist to come and discuss the excitement and fears of kindergarten. He brought up Alfie Kohn’s work, he discussed over scheduling a child, he discussed the need to instill excitement for learning. Yippie kai yeah. I was not impressed. (I actually like Kohn’s work, BTW, it just wasn’t really something I expected here).
At one point, he discussed the recent reports of "over praising your child" and how we should worry about performance praise (ie- praising the child for trying and persistence) vs result praise (ie- good for winning). Sigh…
To me, this stuff is what we do anyway. When things don’t work for the girls, we suggest ways to work at it better. How to improve what they are doing while pointing out what went right and what went wrong.
The kicker was when he said "Kindergarten is the time to create the love of learning and the opportunity to set up the love of school. Once we pass this age, we can never reach these things again!" BULLSHIT. You can always create a love of learning. I am not sure I ever loved school. I was second in my class, I was right up there in the AP classes and I hated the social constructs and the mindless work given by teachers.
I don’t think ANYONE over the age 13 loves school anymore.
Then a parent asked what his feelings on homework were. He spent 5 minutes arguing that the word "work" should not be used with respect to home work. He set the word up as a negative connotation, which to me, defeats the purpose of the word. I love my job. I love my work. Work is not bad. Why teach kids at 5 years old that work is a bad thing? I don’t agree with homework at a young age, and I think it is not really the best way to encourage learning, BUT BUT BUT don’t you dare associate WORK with EVIL and BAD. UGH!
Fortunately, he is not a school administrator. He is just the
psycho psychologist. I really like the principal, although I have to say that I find all Jennifers a bit too happy just like I find all Heathers just a little on the insane side.