My eldest son came home from school yesterday and fought back tears of frustration as he recounted an incident that had occurred during gym class.
A handful of the students had caused trouble and the teacher had decided—perhaps in a moment of complete exasperation; I mean, teenagers can indeed fray one’s nerves to that point—that the entire class would be punished for it. All of the students will have to sit quietly during the next gym class as opposed to participating in any physical activity.
I understand the logic. Make all of them pay, and they will extend their anger and disapproval towards the offenders, causing them to think twice before acting up again. Who cares what teachers think? But it’s a little different to have your peers hate your guts…
My problem is that already, the older kids are not permitted to run around outdoors at recess, as the playground and field are reserved for the younger ones, which I understand as they combine grades K-12 and want to avoid any bullying. But that leaves gym class to be their only real physical outlet during the hours they spend in school. Do you see where I’m going with this? So the rest of the students, some of whom already feel trapped as they must sit on plastic chairs in a room and do things on paper when they would rather actually be learning something now have to spend their designated active time sitting on their butts thanks to a few trouble makers.
This is another reason why we will be homeschooling again next year: because 90% of what kids learn in school is simply how to behave in school.
My self-doubt as a homeschooling parent is being removed with each day that my children board the big yellow bus that backs into our driveway. Something tells me it that by June it will be gone forever–definitely not a bad thing to lose…
On a closing note, I would like to add that I find the staff to all be wonderful and kind people who do care about the students. It is the system I have a problem with. This year was an experiment, as two of our children did attend school last year and did quite well (although one did ask to be homeschooled again regardless). Two months into it, while we are amazed at how much French the children are already speaking, we know that we will be ready for life to go back to normal at the end of the school year.