DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE IS NOT IN SUPPORT OF OR AGAINST THE CONCEPT OF HOMEWORK.
I care more about you than anyone else cares about you. By decreasing my expectations, I show this care and love for you.
That previous statement is where we are heading and it is just another crack in the foundation of our culture / our nation.
Since July 3, 1989, I have taught high school music. I have taught at five public high schools and one private high school (8th-12th grade). In thirty-one years, I have seen so many changes that I can assure you will have ramifications to what the USA will become.
I am 54. My wife and I have two children: 26-year-old son who is married / they have a son (two years old) and he is an officer in the NAVY. Our daughter is 24 years-old and is the officer manager for a local physical therapist. Both children were in high school athletics and in the high school band (with me as their band director). Our son is an Eagle Scout. Both children and our daughter-in-law graduated from the University of Idaho. I am married to Diana and we have been married since March 301, 1991. Background is important. Helps you (if you care) understand my perception.
The United States of America has been a nation that truly believed (past tense for a reason) in INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY. Sovereignty of the individual. “Self-ownership” if you will. Here is one definition, “Self-ownership, also known as sovereignty of the individual or individual sovereignty, is the concept of property in one’s own person, expressed as the moral or natural right of a person to have bodily integrity and be the exclusive controller of one’s own body and life.” WIKI
In my understanding of Mother Nature, the human being can be an animal that can demonstrate “Self-ownership.” When we do not demonstrate that ability / skill, we will see our nation become what Mother Nature or God does not envision for us.
Without the belief and practice of “Self-Ownership,” our nation becomes an authoritarian regime. Just another part of the “animal kingdom.” Definition: Authoritarianism is a form of government characterized by strong central power and limited political freedoms. … Authoritarian regimes may be either autocratic domineering (taking no account of other people’s wishes or opinions) – seems to be something ANTIFA (just an idea – so says Democratic Leaders) or Black Lives Matter are aiming for); or oligarchic in nature (Oligarchy, government by the few, especially despotic power exercised by a small and privileged group for corrupt or selfish purposes. Oligarchies in which members of the ruling group are wealthy or exercise their power through their wealth are known as plutocracies. (Seems something the big tech companies and rich / long standing politicians support) and may be based upon the rule of a party or the military.
Nations, such as China or North Korea, are really the bottom rung of the ladder of what human beings can become. Those two countries and several others believe in a centralized government that totally controls all of their humans.
We are seeing our nation slowly become a “weakened” version of a “China” or “North Korea.”
Helping our nation become more of an Authoritarian “Government” are the technological companies. They are censoring free speech and our government will do nothing to stop them. Why? Because, the elected officials realize, thanks to the technological companies, those elected officials get to retain their power and after all, isn’t this what it is all about? Power. Control over the masses? They are becoming an extension of our government.
This weekend I saw an article about the San Diego school district:
This weekend, I also saw a youtube video from a teacher (Courtney White) with four years of teaching experience. A teacher with over ONE-MILLION VIEWS in less than a week? Yes. It is important to share with you how many years a teacher has taught. Four years and she has over ONE–MILLION VIEWS for “expertise” of no homework? I think about what I was like by my fourth year teaching high school music compared to what I know today. Just seeing how many views she has concerns me that her perception is an acceptable one – until you read the comments and realize many of those million are not “buying” what she is “selling.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp6KYTCsrwo
Seeing both, the article about the San Diego School Board and youtube video from Ms. White (love the irony of Ms. White’s last name) come to the same conclusion (want to make it easier / less stressful for our children – HIGH SCHOOL CHILDREN) led me to the conclusion: THERE ARE TOO MANY TEACHERS / PARENTS / “ADULTS-BY-TITLE” PREPARING THE ROAD FOR THE CHILDREN oppose to, PREPARING THE CHILDREN FOR THE ROAD. Mother Nature will eventually teach us that is the “wrong” thinking.
And what type of government provides a “smooth road?” Why of course: AN AUTHORITARIAN “GOVERNMENT.” We are training our children to become adults who will become dependent on other adults, oppose to become INTERDEPENDENT. Many are training their children how to live in an Authoritarian “Government.”
By the time the students are in high school, they are four years away from being “adults.” When we (adults) know life is a struggle, why would we want to make it (life) “easier / simpler” with four years to go? High school really needs to be the time where we truly teach them to be ADULTS!
To not have homework for the students as a sign of compassion / caring / understanding? Boggles my mind. Simplifying / easing the expectations shows compassion? Really? I see it as a “lie.” “Life is difficult.” – M. Scott Peck.
When your child was a toddler, you (the parent) were so sad to see your toddler struggle to use a utensil, you were the parent who continued to physically feed your child? NO?! You mean, you taught your child to struggle through the process in learning how to use a utensil? Why stop at fourteen years-old teaching your child to push through a “struggle?” Teach your child how to handle adult issues. Improve their ability to be a “self-owner?”
You (the parent) couldn’t bear to watch your toddler continue to fall down learning how to walk, you were the parent who continued to carry your child everywhere?! NO?! You mean, you taught your toddler how to stand-up on their feet and walk? Why stop at fourteen years-old teaching your child to push through a “struggle?” Teach your child how to handle adult issues. Improve their ability to be a “self-owner?”
PLEASE!! As high school students, we (TEACHERS / PARENTS) need to help them get through – not walk around – difficult times. These difficult times are “points-of-growth.” Every time we step in to “help” (get the child out of the struggle) our high school students, we stunt their growth and that may be part of a “nefarious plan.”
Within seven-to-twelve years of the USA high school graduation, studies show https://www.insider.com/when-people-get-married-every-state-2019-1 the USA high school senior is going to be married. Shouldn’t we teach them how to be SELF-DISCIPLINED; take ownership of themselves? How to thrive in relationships? How is lowering expectations (no homework / no suspension for poor behavior / no lowering of grades for late work turned in / etc.) going to help them when they get married? Be responsible for their part in a marriage?
Within eight years of the USA high school graduation, the USA high school senior will have a child https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db232.htm
Again, I will ask the San Diego School Board and Ms. White, how is lowering expectations (no homework / no suspension for poor behavior / no lowering of grades for late work turned in / etc.) going to help the student be a better spouse / better parent / better friend / better employee / better employer?
Our (teachers AND PARENTS) job is to prepare the child for the road and not the road for the child.
We (teachers AND PARENTS) are here to teach the child how to make it through difficult times. Not depend on an “authority” figure to make life “easy” for them.
Read the reasons for the San Diego School Board is changing its policy and listen to Ms. White on no homework.
One of their “unsaid” reason(s) for changing the policy/no homework is to make the child “feel” good / “feel” better. Not necessarily do better / learn better.
Another “unsaid” reason? They (Board members / Teachers) want to avoid being the “bad guy (human being).” Who wants to be the “bad guy (human being)?” Not being a “bad guy” is not one of my goals as a human being. However, I also realize that it is my choice for how I feel. If I have done everything I could to give my student a chance to complete their task, hopefully at an acceptable level, I have no problem with folks labeling me as “the bad guy.” (Technically, I am a “guy” so I do think it is gender appropriate… just wanted to clarify).
An education should include “norms” and here are some “improved norms.”
For the NEW United States of America, according to the San Diego School Board, the new norms seem to include race as a determining factor in accepting no penalty for late work or no suspensions. Sounds like something in the southeast USA of the pre-civil rights era and now P.O.C. get to enjoy that power.
For Ms. White, the new norms include to believe homework adds to the students’ stress, oppose to better self-management / self-ownership and realize there are going to be days with a lot of flippin’ work! Maybe Ms. White and other teachers who share her belief (the homework and not the student’s ability to manage their choices that leads to damaging stress) should read material about Stoicism. Homework is not “good” or “bad.” We make homework “good” or “bad.”
One thing I have noticed about my current students in 2020 versus those in 1989 is the 2020 students have a real difficulty in accepting responsibility for their choices. Today’s students seem to have been taught their circumstances lead to their choices. Their circumstances lead to their emotional challenges. Their circumstances lead to their misery or even their celebrations.
We (teachers AND PARENTS) need to be there to support them (students YOUR CHILDREN) through the challenging times. Taking away priorities / extending due dates / lowering expectations because of “identity” seems to be regress, oppose to progress. Don’t employers have due dates / deadlines that include deadlines? You know… as if teachers have deadlines for turning in work. Is an employer actually going to say, “Well because you are ‘FILL-IN-THE-GENDER-GENDER IDENTIFICATION-RACE’ it’s okay to turn in your work late. Sure. Your citizenship grade (whatever the hell that is) goes down, but your academic grade / the grade that gets you a high school diploma and possibility in to a college / university.” How does that future look? Didn’t we already live through that “race privilege” time with “White Folk?” Isn’t that type of society, the society we are attempting to move away from?
Don’t families have deadlines, as well? Like dinnertime or any time for a meal? What about chores? Don’t those have deadlines, as well?
We are going to lose to Mother Nature. What does losing look like? The answer is made up of “little” events along the way.
Seven Wallgreens stores closing in one year in San Francisco is one response.
Another sign of losing is featured in the recent book by Dr. Gad Saad: THE PARASITIC MIND: HOW INFECTIOUS IDEAS ARE KILLING COMMON SENSE. Titles of several chapters: IDENTITY POLITICS ARE ANTITHETICAL TO SCIENCE; THE IDEOLOGICAL CONFORMITY TO DIVERSITY, INCLUDING, AND EQUITY; TRANS ACTIVISM: THE TYRANNY OF MINORITY; THE WACKY WORLD OF ACADEMIC FEMINISM.
Decisions based on merit / achievement / as well as admonishment, must include “identity” is another sign of losing to Mother Nature. What I mean “must include ‘identity’” is having the “correct” percentage of board members look a certain way; how many of a certain looking composer is on a concert program; in athletics, transgender woman can compete against biological women.
Seeing emotions drive decisions is going to lead to our downfall. I don’t want my students to feel ___________. I don’t want my children to feel _______________________.
How do we stop this direction? This current direction is leading to a nation that depends on “human-authority” to be our decision makers. We don’t stop. Huh? We don’t. God does. We are going to have to have a Fourth Great Awakening. We are going to need to have strong people speak-up and encourage folks to embrace the Sovereignty of Individual. We are going to need to lean in on folks who understand that God has the answers.
Someone once asked me, “Paul, why do read all those self-help books when all the answers are in the Bible?” My answer: Sometimes I need to hear the same message spoken in a “different” language.
My “wishes” include, may my message in this article speak to someone. May someone understand for us to be the United States of America, we need a revival of James Allen’s teachings. Who is James Allen? He is an author / philosopher. His “works” used to be “mandated” reading for our nation’s children in PUBLIC SCHOOLS; may have been a homework assignment years ago.
Here is what your USA 21st century public school educated child is missing:
“Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results; bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results … We understand this law in the natural world, and work with it; but few understand it in the mental and moral world—although its operation there is just as simple and undeviating—and they, therefore, do not cooperate with it.”
― James Allen, As a Man Thinketh