We all get busy and it’s easy to allow routine and schedules to drive our day but if the people we trust to teach our children did the same, what impact would that have? In a powerful video that has gone viral, a US school answers that question.
In the clip shared on Youtube the Atlanta Speech School offers us a child’s eye view of how school staff, who are focused solely on the jobs and outcomes they need to complete, fail at their most important job – to teach our children.
The video is not just a reminder for educators, it is a reminder for us all to slow down and focus on what matters most. What are our children going to learn from our impatience? What will they learn from teachers who are solely focused on the lesson and not the student? What opportunities are we missing to truly engage with them?
A young boy called Jordan narrates the video as we watch him go about his day.
“Every time we are ignored or yelled at or silenced, a teacher takes away what’s possible moment by moment – if this is education, we’re in trouble,” Jordan says.
In the first instance he boards the school bus and is dismissed by the driver.
His day only worsens as his attempts to talk with a school coordinator. His teacher and the cafeteria attendant are handled much the same.
“Did you see that? Why would somebody do that? How do you think that makes us feel?,” Jordan says.
“School is hard enough, this kind of stuff just makes it harder. Don’t believe me? Please just watch.”
Every-now-and-then, if we are lucky, something jolts us back to focus on what really matters and so if you watch only one video today, make it this one.
“Frederick Douglas said, ‘once you learn to read, you’ll be forever free’. The way it is, two of the three of us will never be able to really read,” Jordan says.
The video slows as Jordan assures us, “it doesn’t have to be this way”.
We are taken back to the start of Jordan’s day as he shows us how it could go, if children become the focus.
With a new approach from the grownups around him. we see Jordan’s greetings reciprocated tenfold, we see him walk away smiling rather than hunched and sad.
We reach for the tissues as we see this young man blossom into a strapping teen walking out of school ready to face the world.
“Everyone we meet throughout our day can make a difference – all the difference,” Jordan says.
“Talk with us, not at us. Teach us what we need to know, that’s how we get smarter. And when you talk with us and teach us, give us bigger and bigger words.
“Words that we can use to read and understand and that will take us places we could have never reached without you.
“…give us courage, give us compassion and help us find our own voices so we can become who we are meant to be.”
It’s inevitable our babies will have to go out into the world one day and it is up to us to prepare them as best we can.
Here’s a little help with the first step, deciding if your child is ready to start school.