Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Curriculum Night at the Middle School

We have just returned from curriculum night at Robert's middle school. Firstly I have to comment on the parents. I was unimpressed with the number of parents who left their cellphone on and, of course, received calls during the 1.5 hr meeting. Can't they turn those things off just this one time? How important are you that you have to be reachable every second of the day?

I also question the priorities that were used when creating the syllabus. For example, we were presented with a whole slew of "fluffy" subjects such as Band/orchestra/chorus, Art, Drama and Latin. My interest was peaked when the principal described a subject called Technology Engineering, which taught how to design something, proptotype it, test it and perform analysis on the test results. What a perfect introduction to Engineering! There is a huge need for good engineers in this country (and probably elsewhere in the world)...finally a subject that is of some real world use. However I found out that, due to cutbacks, only some of the students would be able to do this subject this year. Why on earth didn't they cut back on something like Drama or Latin instead? The only thing you can do with Latin is become a Latin teacher...or help Dan Brown with his latest novel. I don't understand their priorities.

It amazed me that 30 years on from when I was in school, and 3000 miles across the ocean, and the math teachers all look the same (male, slightly stern), the English teachers all look like your grandmother (poofy hair and a sing-song voice). The only thing that was different from my schooldays was that the Geography teacher was not a guy with a beard wearing a corduroy jacker with leather elbow patches....

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