By Lonnie Cruse
How much do you remember from elementary or high school? Probably not nearly all you learned. I know I don't. Yet, again, I do. I remember a good deal of the Spanish I learned from Mr. Alvarez in high school. Algebra? Probably not, unless I'm using it without realizing it. Add, subtract, divide, multiply, yeah, I use those a lot (except the pesky nine times table, I must've been absent that day because I always have to have help.) Grammar? I struggle with it a bit, but when I hear some young people speaking today, I wonder if they've been to school at all. Geography? Well, some countries are sneaky and change their names, probably trying to keep us from knowing where they are, but I remember some others. History? I retained a few facts about Washington and Lincoln and interesting guys like that. Ask me where certain battles took place or what year and likely I'll have no clue. Except the Civil War battle at Franklin, TN, and that one only because I have a good friend who lives there. (Bet the rest of you didn't know about that battle either.)
Time for my point for today. One of my grandsons hates school. He's at the age where he doesn't see how he's ever going to be able to "use all this stuff." Sigh. No matter how often we try to explain that he WILL need math in almost any job and he'll need to know how to speak properly in order to GET that job, and that he might need a foreign language if he ever hopes to travel, and geography to know how to get there, and history so we can all avoid the mistakes of the past, so far, he's not getting it. Neither are a lot of our kids today.
When I worked as a substitute teacher's aide, I worked quite often with kids who were struggling in high school. Kids who didn't see the need of the education they were getting there, kids who were often discouraged and wanted to drop out, kids who might have a very limited future if they don't stick with it. But they can't seem to see that far ahead. It's all about today for them.
What's the solution? The only one I see is this, if you know a young person struggling in school, try to point out to them how YOU use what you learned in school, and what you know they will need when they are grown. Our young people really have to understand that they are building the foundation of the future they will live in, and if that foundation is weak, the rest of the building won't stand.
Is there a kid who needs your encouragement? Your help? Your understanding of what it's like to have to study and learn?
Thanks for stopping by!