Holly, Educator and Current Graduate Student, CA

"What I don’t want is for schools to be a hyper stressful environment."

Imagine your child (or one you care about deeply) is now in their 30s – out of school and starting into adult life.  What do you hope for them about their life?  What would make it a ‘good” life?

I want there to be o barriers to opportunity so that they can choose the path they want to choose without having to worry about - Do I have college degree? Are there enough opportunities in the world for me? Am I good enough? They know enough about themselves to make the right choice in the moment. I want them to understand the world is a vibrant ecosystem.

This year has really caused me to rethink the American Dream, and I want my child to have deep respect forhow the world works and affects everything else.

What role do you think schooling should play in achieving that ideal good life?

This year has really made me question: What is the role of school? Without a doubt, schooling is an important component of society. I want schools certainly academically prepare them to have any opportunity they want in life. There are some core components there: communicating, expressing themselves, avid reader, which is something really important to me.

What I don’t want is for schools to be a hyper stressful environment. My sister and I both talk about how the time when we had the least amount of sleep was in high school, which is crazy because as a teenager you need the most sleep. On a broader scale we should reconsider the purpose of education. I would like to see education be more civically oriented -  How do we have a society that promotes the values that I would like to be alive in this country? I think that’s something that is missing even though its important for us as a people.

Do you think schools are currently playing that role/doing what they should? If so, how? If not, how not?

Its hard to take a paintbrush and say “Schools are or schools aren’t.” Schools are so different. I’m sure there are some schools that do this type of stuff. And there are very clearly some schools who don’t. There's a spectrum.But, I’m not sure if we should be reaching for the middle or where. The quality of schools available in low income areas is so absurdly poor, but the standard we’re working toward is often far from perfect. I mean, do we really want these stressful models to be the model for low income kids or all kids just because that’s what all high income kids have? I think that’s really flawed too. I’m not sure what the right answer is there. Its hard to think on a system’s level how we might change it all.

Kevin CrouchComment