Storyteller Woman

Criminalization in education and the workforce.

What does it mean to educate oneself or our children? Define what that looks like. Does it have to look like desks aligned in rows facing front with a lecture format? Does it look like we have kids and adults on camera and microphone the entire day to be sure they are working? Is this a surveillance state? Employers need to rethink their criminalization of their workforce as well. Do you think upper level managers and CEOs are drug tested, credit checked, and on CCTV all day? Why are lower level (read: essential workers) criminalized? Is this the kind of world we are preparing our children for? Mediocre scrapped together living in gig jobs that criminalize them and monitor them on camera and or track them on their mobile phones 24/7? What are the reasons we socialize our children in the current format? What is the needed outcome of this structure? I believe that we need to remake the wheel.

Why is homeschool and online learning looked down upon? Not that many decades ago children were educated only part time in school and spent the rest of their time working on the farms. Did their mental health suffer because they were not being “Socialized” or indoctrinated at schools? Were these folks less capable or smart? Were they unsuccessful in their lives? I know that my grandparents who are all gone now, they went to country schools part time when they were not needed at homes or on farms or family businesses. The schools had one teacher with multiple grades. They learned to think critically, become avid readers. My grandparents were ferocious readers and many kept journals of their daily lives as well, which is a historical treasure trove for our families. I myself was educated in the public school system until grade 8 at which point I was kicked out for protesting a terrible educational policy that was known to hurt students more than help . Then I was home teaching myself until I turned 18 and took my GED and enrolled directly in community college. I was the first in my family to attend college and go on to a 4 year university. How did I pass and get straight 4.0 in college having a grade 8 public education? Because my grandmother and mother gave me their voracious reading bug. I was educated by my local public library. I checked out so many books at once I used to take a wagon in. I am a fast reader. I read at college level in first grade. I was an original book nerd. I spent from grade 8 to 12 pretty isolated as a latch key kid while my widowed mother worked nights at the local factory. I have went on to be involved in the local communities I have lived in over the years. I have been the public relations chair in several college organizations in my life….even having been “isolated” as a child. I carried the value of life long learning forwards to help others. I filled out my mother’s FAFSA for her and helped her enroll at the community college. I helped my sister get her GED and enroll at community college. I strongly encouraged and helped my niece enroll in college and she has multiple degrees and is an RN now. I believe we as a nation can turn this around and refocus our lens inward and rebuild our education system into something new.

Maybe we as a country have looked over the fence so much we lost the picture of what we already had; an education system that could turn out creative, independent, critical thinkers who enjoyed and encouraged lifelong learning. Now we churn out kids who can take a test. Who do not have the writing, reading and comprehension – critical thinking and people skills necessary to excel at even customer service based jobs. We now have adults who cannot discern between real scientific information and false information in real life and on the internet. Many of the adults in this country do not understand our history as a nation or how our local and national governments work. This is an extreme failure that I believe has happened due to long game GOP gutting of school budgets and control over Texas textbook publications which gloss over and omit key information our students should be learning. Unbiased, multicultural, globally educated nation of citizens who have a life long love of learning are who we need now and in the future to work on the overwhelming issues we have like climate change, mass extinctions of animal and plant species, human climate migration issues.

We also need to support families in this country. We need to have parents be able to be a partner in their children’s educations. How would that plan look? First we as a nation need to develop a lifelong minimum basic income (MBI) for everyone. We need to raise the amount of MBI for Parents, so that they can spend the time needed to be a partner in educating their children. We should make higher education- 4 year degree programs on up to grad school free to every citizen. We should make healthcare the same for every person regardless of whether you make trillions or nothing. Income, healthcare, and the education of children are major stressors for every working family in this country. We need to allow families to have time with each other as well and stop the incessant rant on “work hard / play hard” let people rest and renew and be with their families too. The current model of 24/7 work just leads us all to high stress, bad health outcomes and early death or disability. Maybe, what we need in this country isn’t more disposable material things, but more family time, more physical and mental healthcare, a MBI and a better life in the present for the future of this nation depends upon it.

What do you think of the public school system? How do you envision a different system of education and work? Let’s discuss 🙂 Leave your comments below 🙂

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