Since when was kindergarten all about academics?! They are 5 and 6 years old! It's about self-discovery, learning how to learn, learning how to play, learning how to eat paste. All I hear is, "She refused to take her test today. They have another one tomorrow. No, they did not get recess today because they didn't finish their worksheets." What has happened?! Okay, I won't even get started on NCLB, and I swear I haven't given up on public education--yet. We have some truly gifted teachers out there, and my son has been lucky enough to have 2 in his 4-year career. But we have become so bent on fitting all our pegs into that flippin' round hole that we have lost sight of the wonder of those little square pegs and triangular pegs and oval pegs and hexagonal pegs and...
My daughter is a peg of a whole new shape, but they are hammering out all they beautiful corners and curves to cram her into their hole so they can claim success and get their accredidation and federal funding. My son will do well no matter where he is, but my daughter needs more.
So...in our investigations, we discovered the Waldorf school only 20 minutes from our house. If you are not familiar with the approach, check out these sites:
It's magnificent and exactly what our girl needs. Artistic and holistic and nurturing. But it is also a lovely fit for our son. The tuition, however, is not such a lovely fit for our budget. So, I have decided to go back to teaching full time, if they will have me, and I have applied at the school where my children would attend. It's very daunting and not a job for slackers or the faint of heart. Teaching is always hard work, but this will be a whole new world for me. But it means a whole new, and better, world for my kids, too. I'm both excited and terrified to do this, terrified that I won't be good enough. I've seen the kids at this school, and they are truly thriving. Strong, articulate, interesting, self-possessed young people.
So, for the last few weeks, I have been updating my resume, writing a biography of myself (blak!), tracking down references, and reading anything I can find on Steiner's philosophy and the structure of the Waldorf program. No writing, very little reading, struggling to keep up with the class I am teaching, not to mention a maddening lack of sleep, but hoping to lay a lifechanging path for my kids.
My writing may have to take a back-back seat again, but it will find its way to the surface eventually. Wish me luck!
Now...Stadler, tell us a good joke!