Friday, September 6, 2013
And so it begins...
backward glance and had a perfectly lovely time. I, meanwhile, got a load of boring admin-type jobs done in about a quarter of the time it would have taken me otherwise. Wonderful all around.
And today, he went again (declaring "My wanna go Paygoop 'gain!" when I picked him up!) and I managed to get a coat of paint on what will become his new bedroom. Productivity abounds!
The Playgroup is one I've been associated with for many years - I was even on the management committee a lifetime ago. I know all the 'Aunties' who work there personally, and sent NB there all last year. I am confident that it supports my beliefs and values and that OB will learn, develop, flourish and be loved there.
And yet I have a vague sense of unease and a nagging thought that this week marks the beginning of a 16-year treadmill of assessing, marking, comparing, grading and judging according to a set of criteria that, to be honest, I don't much care for.
It's not that I don't approve of education - I'm a teacher, for goodness sake! And I had an excellent education which, on the whole, I enjoyed very much. I have the type of personality that enjoys academic pursuits so the pretty full-on grammar school I went to suited me down to the ground - academically anyway. Social experiences were another matter entirely!
But things have changed in education since my school days, and even since I stopped teaching six years ago. These days there is so much more assessment, so many opportunities to fail. There is so much not-so-hidden agenda in the curriculum and so little encouragement of difference of viewpoint or belief. Even before OB had spent his first few minutes at Playgroup, a file had been opened on him, and details of his 'achievements' so far had been ticked off on an exhaustive list.
I find it just a little bit oppressive.
So, we will do Playgroup, probably three mornings for two years, but after that, I don't see myself willing to run the treadmill any longer, dragging him along with me. I have options about what happens in the school year after he turns four, and I'm completely prepared to explore them and take the less-travelled path. At least that's a path we can walk at our own pace.