Sylvia's writing to freedom

I did it, no reactions towards going to school 14/04/2011

This time I hadn’t been making up conversations in my mind of how to approach the teachers. I didn’t have this feeling of anxiety before even going to school. No pain in my stomach as a sign of being reluctant. I just went as if I had an appointment. Today and yesterday we had parent-meetings at school, which is basically an overload of waiting in line and listening to teachers talking in circles and only a few who are capable of making a distinction between students and not replaying the same judgements over and over again to all parents.

The kids were still at school for extra lessons, my son J. was waiting downstairs where the porter sits and my daughter A. went up with us. This way we could stand in line for three different teachers at the same time and A. filled in the place of the one that had to go inside the classroom. Very effective and this way we were ready in almost no time. Normally I do not go and talk with the teachers alone, I was always afraid I was missing out on something or totally not understanding the message. I’m over it, I found out that they rarely have really something to say, so why making a fuss over something like this. I understood what they said and was able to respond, maybe not in beautiful sentences, but the message got across.

All these years when a teacher told something about my child that was really no reality, I got mad and mean. Mad in my back chat and mean in my words. Did this help so far? Nope. So no valid strategy and time for another one. One teacher said that my son J. while doing a paper, had written his name and all the questions but no answers and handed it to this teacher. So I asked the teacher what J. his motives were, since I hadn’t seen J. that day at home and had not spoken to him yet. The teacher said he didn’t know why the paper was empty and J. didn’t fill in anything. I said this is to me weird behavior how come you as a teacher do not know J.’s motives for not responding to the questions? He said he simply didn’t know. I told him that I would find out why. When I spoke to J. he said he had answered the questions, but he hadn’t written much, simply because he didn’t recall it. In other words, he has to study more.

Then another teacher spoke about my daughter A. on how she had to score better on his subject and that he saw her grades go up and down. So I asked him if he knew why this happened and he said he didn’t have a clue. He had found out that A. was doing well in class, but within tests and homework she wasn’t able to perform. I said, maybe she isn’t able to apply the information. So I asked him how we were going to fix this problem since she is doing her exam this year. He said: she can come to me before or after class and ask questions if she wants.

So this was a cool new experience since I normally, when teachers were telling crap, immediately went into my back chat and became less open to hear what they were saying. The fact that most teachers and students have different truths, isn’t giving me the liberty to get mean and rude. Also this time I asked what we were going to do about certain problems to keep all of us within our responsibility. I just approached it in the moment and if a teacher wants to lie, he has to deal with the consequences himself. I cannot make him change his mind and I cannot take this personal. Defending my children as I always did is only making teachers angry. Then when they see my child they are reminded of me and they see my child in a negative way. Because going to these meetings is only to put positivity to the name of my child and show them that we care as parents. Never something constructives happend
within this kind of conversations. The current education system is simply not a place where they think about what’s best for all. We all know it, but don’t want to do anything about it. It simply is as it is.

While waiting in line some interesting things occurred. People were talking about the teachers and how they didn’t care anymore. How teachers were no longer teaching out of passion and no longer explaining till the student understood the materials. So I said that most teachers were seeing teaching as a job and not as a passion. It’s simply a way to make a living, so all about money.  People agreed. Then one dad said that it was better in the old days and that things had changed. I said, we also changed, we do not educate our children the way we were educated. So the result is another type of child/student and another type of teacher. One not necessarily better or worse than the other. Then another dad said: but in the end we educate our children the same way as our parents. And yes that’s pre-programming and following your download.

Advertisements
 

Are we going to invest in education? 28/02/2011

We all know by experience that education isn’t one of mans most brillant inventions ever. The students that stood out the crowd and accomplished intellectual fame later in life were mostly school drop outs or autodidacts. During my own educational career that started 38 years ago and lasted for 21 years I witnessed the decline of the whole system. Already back then we had teachers that were not up to the task and went home with a mental break down not to be seen back anymore.

Then there were the years when we had too much graduated teachers, who chose another profession to survive and pay off their study loan. Nobody chose to do this study anymore and within 5 years and more there was a shortage of teachers. Governments started campaigns to trick people into the educational system and let them teach. This was the beginning of a chaos era. New teachers entered the school system who never had been teaching before, though some had a passion for working with students and were capable to transfer the knowledge better then any teacher ever. Others were disasters and of course they were the one’s who stayed within the system till their retirement and they received the gold watch.

In  those 21 years within the system I’ve witnessed cutbacks after cutbacks. Where teachers were in the old days, once a year on strike, they currently can pick which demonstration they want to go to or just oversleep and stay home. I wouldn’t be surprised if there exists a strike brochure for the whole school year, like a menu to pick from. Nothing changes by striking, the change needs to take place from the inside out. Teachers, the educational system and governments need to get their priorities straight. If not the decline wil make morons out of our children.

To illustrate how intellectual, common sensical our current teachers are and where they prioritize, a few examples from real life:

Italian language teacher:

Hair is a living material


Italian math teacher:

Sitting in front of a computer during an excel course and grabbing the mouse asking: what do I need to do now?


Italian math teacher:

Sticking verses on the kitchen cupboards to learn Dante by heart.


Dutch language teacher:

Baking bread with students while using a bread maker and being surprised to find the dough blade inside the bread.


Dutch language teacher:

Painting on the windows to decorate the classroom with waterproof paint and asking if the paint is washable.


Italian geography teacher:

Responding to the question why they write the word sex as a grade in the children’s report, she states that if they write ‘sei’ (6) students can make a ‘sette’ (7) out of it.


Italian english teacher:

After 15 years of studying the English language still saying “free” instead of “three”.


Italian remedial teacher:

Giving candies to a child with disturbed behavior like ADHD and not understanding why the kid gets so fucked up.


It’s time to get serious here. Schools are full of teachers who are a shame for their own profession. Schools with no financial means and working with old materials will not determine how teachers teach. Teaching without money is teaching with huge limitations, but when teachers in third world countries can pull the trick why can’t we? We have to look deeper into the real issues. What is it that we should accomplish through education? Do we want to make our children into uniformity and let them all go to the same factory or office and be slaves of the system? If so then we better implant the necessary information into the child so it can be effective within the system. If we really want to teach our children and let them apply the learned information within reality, then we have to throw away the current abusive educational system.

We need to start understanding that we can not make money over the backs of our children. Education needs to be reincarnation of information over and over again in every moment for every child. Simply because the message is always the same in every moment and needs to be available for every child in every moment. Information that can be walked, that can be experienced. Learning how to care for yourself and your planet with all that lives on it. Words like inequality, competition, comparison, greed, jealousy and power need to be explained and then banned. We need citizens of the world that do not fear themselves and their world. Citizens who understand that doing what’s in the best interest of all is also benefitting themselves. Citizens who are prepared to not be driven by money and do all that they can to establish world equality.

A change is now more possible then ever. By implementing the Equal Money System, education would be free for everybody. Education is an investment into  the future and not a financial investment.

 

Cutting back on our children through education 26/02/2011

Today my son J. came home from school and told me that he had to make a shopping list for the stationers. Apart from the normal notebooks and drawing paper, the art teacher wanted colored tracing paper in at least 4 colors. Two weeks ago the art teacher wanted yarn in at least 4 colors, she comes up with all kinds of materials outside the curriculum. I understand she likes to spice up the art lessons and the education system here in Italy has had this year tremendous cutbacks. So the choice is, letting the parents buy extra materials over and over again or just stick to pencil and paper and learn the students the basics of drawing. It frustrates me to buy way too much art materials for quite useless art expressions while I can use that money for better purposes like my basic needs.

Instead of letting all the students buy their own extra materials for art lessons which results often in buying too much due to the packages the materials come in. One group of students could buy one color of a certain material and other groups could buy other colors. In this case the amount of materials would also be more precise and less a waste of money and materials. Another scenario is giving money to the teacher and let her buy the right materials in the right amounts. All not that difficult to come up with just common sense.

Another problem apart from the cutbacks in education and having to buy more school materials yourself then before, is that a lot of parents lost their jobs due to the crisis. So the teacher assumes that every student is always financially capable of buying these extra art materials. Half of the students show up with the materials the others bring nothing, because their parents simply don’t have the money. This art teacher thinks her subject is the most important one of all, but lets say I neither do have the money to buy all the books for my child. Then the child is fucked, the lessons take place with or without a book, you simply flank the subject. There are funds for the people with the lowest income ever, but if you as a parent lose your job after this funding has taken place, then you are left with nothing. So the system is spiting you.

Buying these extra materials is not always a necessary, but I do understand that the teacher wants to teach in an appealing way to the students. Till now it was Middle School I was talking about, already in elementary school the teachers became inventive and lazy after the first cutbacks from the government over the last years. My kids had always gymnastics as part of the school curriculum, all of a sudden the same teachers were no longer capable of teaching sports. So they hired a local physiotherapist to do the job, all students had to pay €10 for 10 lessons and they all had to go to the local stationers to buy a yoga mat for €20, 10 lessons for €30. So all of a sudden my child had only 10 gymnastic lessons over the whole school year period and I had to pay €30 because the teachers were too lazy to do it themselves. It turned out that the local physiotherapist was in need for a small extra job and he did a favor to the local stationers to let her sell the yoga mats. The same happend with music lessons, €10 for 10 lessons. So now I was paying €40 for extra lessons that the teachers could have done themselves, but they gave the job to someone who could use some extra money due to the crisis. All extremely noble, but is it in the best interest of all?

For me this wasn’t going to work out. I spoke to the teachers and parents and nobody saw what my problem was. It’s only €10 euros for 10 lessons, that is cheap they said. Indeed that’s cheap if I compare that with music lessons, sports or art lessons outside of school. I’m talking about money that I have to pay otherwise my child misses out on education. I tried it with the music lessons and asked the teacher where my son had to go when I didn’t pay. He would have gone out of the classroom with his own teacher and do some homework. So he was removed from the system as he wasn’t paying. I paid I didn’t want him to be separated from the group for an idealistic motive that didn’t solve the inequality that played out here.

The point is education how it presents itself now within the current capitalistic system with all the cutbacks the government makes, is like education that equals to education within a third world country. The buildings are old and sometimes even dangerous, the furniture is really old and most educational materials the parents have to buy themselves. By law you have to attend school, but what is the value? The teachers teach still like there is money, even school advise for the students about what to study in a later stadium and what profession to become, are based on the times where work/jobs were still available. So the system runs like always and doesn’t see that the equipement is old and is suffering severe and that it will collapse every moment now. Sounds familiar to me, aren’t we doing the same with our bodies throughout life and isn’t our society playing out the same movie here?

 

A corrupt school system will not judge fairly 10/02/2011

A corrupt school system will not judge fairly and nevertheless I’ll keep believing in my own fairy tails that kids do learn relevant stuff in school and will be rated realistic and fairly. That’s what I’ve been taught, but it isn’t what I’ve been experiencing throughout my school time.

Dealing with school issues when it comes to my kids brings up  suppressed emotions and feelings, which I will explore later in time. I was a good girl in school, but inside I didn’t always feel that cooperative. I could see where the unfairness was and ineffectiveness, though I was not allowed to say so. I even didn’t come up with the idea to speak out.

I have no idea if this corruptness is nowadays more than back then or that I just feel it as double now it concerns my kids?

Today my partner P. and I had a meeting at school with the mentors of both of our kids to collect their first reports of this school year. For my son J. it was even his first report at middle school. These meetings are not scheduled in a time frame so you have to wait in big groups in front of the classroom. This waiting is like waiting for a dentist appointment, you know it will be ugly even if there is no reason they will let you know that your condition could get worse or stay bad.

We already heard from our daughter A. that the music teacher had given her a four on her report. She found out later after being sick at home. Also J. wasn’t sure about his grade, but hadn’t heard anything. Music lessons are split into two, one is to play the recorder and the other part is to learn about music history. My kids never learned to play the recorder and at this point the disadvantage or inequality starts. If you can’t play, this teacher will ignore you in class instead of teaching and stimulating you to be able to join the group. A. had already asked several times for help, but he didn’t honor her request. Together my kids practised at home to become more experienced in playing the recorder, but the level they had to reach was much too high. This teacher doesn’t give any written papers only two oral tests a year, that doesn’t give the students a real change to make a nice average for music. So both my kids weren’t able to play the recorder and both hadn’t done yet an oral test. To the music teacher it was cristal clear, both had failed. J. got a five and A. a four, grades that are almost impossible to improve without real help from this teacher.

When the music teacher told A. her grade he said: “I’ve given you the lowest grade on your report.” A. told that he kept repeating himself for several minutes, but that she hadn’t cried. The teacher did put the total responsibility on A.’s shoulders and she saw how unfair and ridiculous he was, but she didn’t speak out. When a teacher gives a four or five to a student who hasn’t been able to fairly perform, this four and the five are saying more about the teacher than the students. He isn’t the only teacher who refuses to explain things to the students, but isn’t that the job of a teacher? Here in Italy it’s normal to buy yourself a tutor, out of the simple fact that the normal teachers are not willing to explain the materials. What are they doing then in class? Quite a lot of them talk about themselves or their relatives, talk with other people in class or are highly inefficient within time managing the materials due for that term.

So we have to deal with a four and a five and we will out of the simple fact that these grades are ridiculous and when taken seriously A. could not do her final exams if she doesn’t make an eight next term to have an average of six. How can a student who is so bad becomes so good the next term? P. said that he will talk to this teacher in common sense. Both kids have an eight in attitude so that can not be the excuse either, bad behavior. We all have to take our responsibility within this, lets see how cooperative this teacher is in a male to male conversation.

It’s simply impossible to really succeed in middle school, your grades are far from the reality and you’re handed over to the antics of your teachers. It’s a reflection of society so in a way it gives you a warm welcome into the real world. It’s also giving of the messages that you fail even before you start which turns our next generation into quitters and non-believers in real change. We can not let that happen, our youth is still our future, they can not quit before they start.

Let’s put this situation through an Equal Money System. The school would have had enough means to teach the students in a practical interactive way. Teachers would only be teachers if they liked what they were doing, they didn’t have to earn their living with teaching their basic income would cover that. School books and materials wouldn’t be about opinions of others, only facts and tested or even self tested information. School would be about how to live life, how to become effective within life, how to live and work together and to see what it is that you are causing while you’re here on earth, taking your own responsibility. School would become a place where you could safely grow into a responsible human, the start for playing your part within society. School would be a party every single day and it takes only one vote from the majority to establish an Equal Money System. I’ll wish this upon every child on earth so count my vote in.

 

We met the teacher on the pedestal… 13/12/2010

Tonight were the parents interviews for my daughter A.’s year and not in January as we first thought. It started at 4 o’clock and when we arrived the school was already crowded with parents and students. We decided to get in line for mathematics, we waited at least 45 minutes. In total we spoke to 3 teachers, because then the time was up. Out of the 3 teachers the one from math was the only one that was able to speak on a honest and equal level with us. He was the one who saw that A. had made quite some progress emotionally, compared to last semester. We were “hopeful” and got into the next line for the class tutor who teaches Italian, geography and history. We waited over an hour in front of the class room, many parents claimed to be in front of the other because their kid had been already in line waiting. These kids were no where to see anymore and in the end the chaos was complete. What started off as a line of waiting people was just a group of people that gathered and watched the door of the class room carefully to plunge into the room whenever the door opened. At a certain point I didn’t know anymore if I was fooled or not, so I didn’t start an argument over it. It started snowing and people got more restless than before.

When we finally were allowed to go into the class room, I was physically tired of standing in the hallway for almost 2 hours in a row and we only had been speaking to 1 teacher so far. While waiting I felt this energy starting accumulating inside myself, memories of the already so many parents interviews we’ve done over the past 9 years. So many teachers who spoke, but rather not had spoken, because they spoke out of dishonesty/believes/ideas/opinions. It all made me so mad over the years. Teachers who spoke about children as if they were a number and talking behind the child’s back. Also the memories of myself while being in school are connected to this, teachers who told me who I was without even having had a good look. Yes, this energy was one of anger and of never ever having stood up for me or my child, only acting out of emotions and feelings. So we sat down with this teacher who never sees progress even if it’s in her face. We had been correcting her in a note that we had to sign about homework that according to her wasn’t done, but in fact A. had done it. Of course she referred to it and we only said the same as in the note. This is the teacher that sees all students as equally within her mind, but in real life has obvious preferences. And than out of the blue she said: ” I do treat every student equally, I do not have preferences and all students get grades on the same grounds”. We watched her carefully while she was stating this out of the blue. She started coughing and getting uncomfortable. She didn’t picture A. attending the lyceum and prepare herself for university. “Why isn’t she going to do something artistic or something with languages”, she said. Than I got mad, I said: ” It’s up to A. to make this choice and in the current world there are not many jobs for translators and artists”. I studied art and my partner P. is translator and it doesn’t provide bread on the table and that’s not just now but already the case for several years. The teacher didn’t understand me properly, I was quite mad and had a hard time making any sense so I left it there. So no standing up. I was mad about teachers that have to prepare our kids for our world/society and they do not know anything about it. Choosing a job that’s in the best interest for all that’s what counts, all other jobs are vanity or greed based.

Another 30 minutes and we were able to meet with the teacher on the pedestal who told our daughter that her parents weren’t allowed to talk back when signing a note of him. When we came in he said: ” So you are the parents of A.?” , and than he said lets talk about the little one. We looked at each other, the little one? He wanted to discuss our son J. who is in his first year. I said: “We are here to talk about A.”. After that he started unwillingly. He did a whole story about how A. was unwilling to copy things from the blackboard or even later from her classmates. We didn’t know what to say since this sounded as quite a weird story to us, but A. wasn’t there to verify it. Then he said she didn’t study, but her technical drawings were okay. Consequently he showed us her grade list with almost all low grades. I didn’t know what to say, we had been signing for all grades so far and A. showed hardly any insufficient grades. When the note came into the conversation, we again told him that A.’s background wasn’t the same as the others and that she’s living in Italy only for 4 years now. He wasn’t impressed, only his own truth was reality.

When we tried to speak to another teacher she was already packing and leaving, so we decided to go home. What a useless and ineffective way of using our time. This whole circus is for parents to be reassured about their kids and for the teachers to have a moment to hedge themselves.

When we were home at 7 o’clock we confronted A. with the information we got from the teachers. What I suspected was true, these 2 grown ups had been lying flatly in our faces. The teacher on the pedestal had never ever checked if A. had copied the materials from the blackboard and he had never told her bout the majority of her grades. We also discussed J. with this teacher so I also saw his grades and asked him if he knew about these and he didn’t. So these students have no clue how they are doing according to their grades and they have no idea for what assignments these grades were, isn’t that dishonest and giving students a disadvantage within their semester? Why is a teacher lying towards parents? I was also angry at him, I was ready to expose him but I wasn’t sure if I was right in that moment. Exposing him out of the starting point of anger hadn’t been a good idea either. I replayed the conversations at home and discovered more inconsistencies, but confronting them with it is just bumping against the limitations of the education system. Lets put all these kind of teachers in a rehab camp as long as they are a threat to our children. When they understand self honesty, don’t do to another what you don’t want to be done onto you and what’s best for all, they can be released within society. A new society where the Equal Money System rules where there isn’t any place for teachers who do not see their students equal to themselves and where high education means preparing our children for life and teach about the living word and self forgiveness. It sounds like a dream, but we’re not as far from it as you might think.

On this point of anger towards teachers and the education system I will have to do a mind construct to get more clarity in that one, but for now some self forgiveness on the points that are obvious in the face.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to let the energy accumulate within me and let it direct me.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to become angry and therefore not being able to express myself sufficient.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not stand for myself and my child.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to participate within  school memories and use that as a blueprint for next school experiences.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to feel hopeless when it comes to the teachers of my kids and kids in general. Not having any trust in teachers.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to fear exposing teachers while they are lying, out of not trusting my starting point and the information I have within that moment.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to feel like a teen again in front of the teacher on the pedestal and almost wanting to spit him in the face.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to become anger and not seeing that it’s anger towards myself for not standing up.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to feel unfairness instead of seeing that by participating within this feeling I make myself the victim and unable to direct myself.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not be certain and not directing myself within my life.