Wednesday 2 October 2013

#blogsync September 'The Purpose of Education' Doors Open - Eyes Open

This post forms part of @Edutronic_Net 's #blogsync project. The rest of the posts for this topic can be found here

Fundamentally, as I was musing about this topic, something I feel really strongly about as a teacher of boys with Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties. I basically wanted to write 2 words. Doors Open.....but then Sue Cowley beat me to it here with her brilliant post. Darn it!

I cannot begin to tell you how important this is. We battle every single day to keep as many doors, windows and other metaphorical openings as wide open as possible for our kids for as long as possible despite the fact a lot of them are battling to kick them as firmly shut they can. We battle to open these doors further by improving basic literacy and numeracy, things that should have been done long before they got to secondary school. We fight with them for those C grades so they don't have to resit GCSEs at college when they are actually doing something they want to do.
We put up with the swearing and hitting and kicking as they grow up, as we know, in the most part by the time they get to year 11 they will have stopped. We spend time putting boundaries in place and saying no, working on teamwork and cooperation because these skills are important for the future.

The kids I teach are clueless in the most part. They do not understand why they have to keep these doors open and most do not have parents able to explain to them. They still believe even now that a life on benefits is a possibility so why work?? Maybe there is a bit of a case for 'Eyes Open' here too - showing our kids what is possible and what is not. Giving them ambition and ways to achieve.

We as a school, as professionals, have to improve their aspirations, their confidence and their self worth before they can even start achieving. I don't really want to reference Bloom's taxonomy and Maslow's Heirarchy of Need but you get the idea. If these kids are not provided the basics - from a cup of tea and some toast or some deodorant to help with their reading then they will never ever be able to keep their doors open.

This is what we do. This is why education is important. It's not just about those that sail through it and out of the gates with all their certificates. For me its about the ones you drag through it kicking and screaming who in front of your eyes morph into pretty decent human beings with a few certificates but a massive sense of pride. That's who I do it for and that is what gets me out of bed in the morning.

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