This week was the start of school for my three young children. The “rat race” has begun here in Tennessee, like so many other places across the country. As we gathered school supplies and clothes for the children, I began to think about the word EDUCATION.
I decided to Google “education” just to see what is on the world wide web. The very first thing to show on my computer screen was from….Wikipedia, of course. Wikipedia says, “Education in its general sense is a form of learning in which the knowledge, skills, and habits of a group of people are transferred from one generation to the next through teaching, training, or research.”
My struggle has recently been on what are we teaching this upcoming generation. Are we teaching them just the academics or are we focusing on teaching them the skills to make this world a better place for others? Are we teaching them that ALL children are equal? Does my son with autism have to be “different” or my friends children with epilepsy need to be viewed as “different”? Are we teaching the children of today to fight for the ones that are different by the world’s standard or are we teaching to keep them separate from the “typical” child? Why should a parent with a child that is “different” have to fight with the school system to accommodate their child? My son Samuel, can teach other children as well. He can teach them to see the world from a different perspective. Calvin, Harper, Zaki, and Haley all have epilepsy. They can also teach other children. They can teach them about strength and perseverance. Charlie, Hope, and James have Down Syndrome. They can also teach other children. They can teach others about pure innocence.
What are our schools systems teaching our children this year? I urge you to find out how you can change your school to make sure that we are not only teaching academics but also teaching our next generation that ALL children should be included and valued. We need to teach this upcoming generation and teachers to fight for the ones that can’t always fight for themselves. We need to teach our “typical” children and teachers to sit and learn from the “different” children. If we do this, we will be surprised to see how wonderful our world could really be. I look forward to hearing from each of you in the next year, 6 years, 16 years, 26 years and beyond to see how your children have changed their school and this world!