I am all for students learning practical things in school, which has become a huge mantra lately. But school is also meant to be a whole education, giving kids an introduction to many fields and many ideas. In my English classes, my primary job *imho* is to teach students to communicate their thoughts clearly and how to find credible information when they need it to support their thoughts. I also hope to expand their ideas and build empathy for cultures and peoples that might seem strange to them.
The problem today is that students become so burdened with education debt, plus the wildly inflated cost of living today, that they have little time and energy to pursue anything creative.
As I think back on the past year, the isolation may not have been good, but I think the downtime was. I know lots of students who learned to play an instrument or found some other creative outlet.
Our worry about students falling “behind” is due only to our self-imposed system of education which puts students on an assembly line in pre-school, and expects every one to advance according to a common schedule in every subject — a ridiculous expectation by any theory of education.
Education should be about more than what is needed to survive in today’s world. Today’s world is changing rapidly, and while balancing a checkbook may have been crucial yesterday, it probably won’t be tomorrow.
Teaching kids how to learn, how to persevere when learning is difficult, and how to take joy in small accomplishments is my goal.