During my many years (*cough*) of teaching, I have begun to move further and further away from the 'tried and true' content that has been handed down ad nauseam for the past several decades (I have seen text books at school older than I am!).
I have always been a bit of a rebel. Black sheep of the family, eldest child of the eldest child, first to forge the path, first to monumentally stuff things up, first to fail at school because it bored the hell out of me. First to homeschool my kids (well, my beautiful and talented wife did the vast amount of the work there) because I didn't trust the education system as far as I could throw it to challenge my kids, to see them as individuals and to inspire them to pursue their passions and dreams (one is an actor, one is an artist, one is still deciding). But enough about me and mine.
I have seen a few students pass through our kura now and I am terrified that so few of them were truly served by the system. Yes, they (well, 80-odd % of them) got a piece of paper to say they had met the standards imposed on them by the system. But how many of them left the gates for the final time feeling empowered, inspired and enthusiastic about what lay ahead on their learning journey? How many of them shook the dust of the school from their sandals and vowed never to set foot there again, as long as they could possibly help it? The thought of how I/we may have failed them in that regard fills me with horror. How much damage have I/we wrought on these young minds to the point that they will break out in a cold sweat at the thought of another test, another exam, or more learning?
It keeps me up at night...