Well, another school year has begun. Kids of all ages are back in the classroom while their moms are back on the sofa with a well-deserved bottle of wine. Teachers seem eager to return to school so they can be in a building with good air conditioning. As for the rest of us, we can fuss about the horrible school traffic for the next nine months.
I have heard there have been some changes in school policies and curriculum this year for several Texas schools. I could report on these for y’all who aren’t informed on such matters, but I have no idea what they are either. For the past three months, I have been traveling to distant lands like Mississippi, New Mexico and Padre Island so I’m a little out of touch with local happenings.
I have heard some high schools have gone back to having vocational classes for those kids whose families can’t buy their admission into college. I think this is great because I have never had an Ivy League graduate replace a busted water pump in my truck or install satellite TV in my home.
I have heard that many schools have stopped teaching certain subjects that I took back when the only technology we had in the classroom was an overhead projector. Like cursive writing. Okay, I understand that these days, kids do most of their writing on a touchpad or keyboard, but sometimes you need to know how to write legibly. Say you are marooned on a deserted island with nothing but a notepad, pencil and an empty beer bottle. How are you gonna get rescued without a message in a bottle? Even if your phone survived the plane crash and the swim to the island, I doubt you’d get any cell reception.
I have also learned that many historical events will be removed from the Social Studies curriculum. We all know how some folks are trying to erase a chapter of American History, but how can you correct the present and plan for the future without knowing the past?
As for other school subjects, I would appreciate the addition of a few rather pertinent items to the curriculum. In Earth Science, could you teachers teach the kids about climate change? Sure, lots of folks don’t believe there is a problem with global warming, but dang, look at the data. Watch the Weather Channel. Look at the melted ear wax dripping out of my ears.
Can we teach kids how to do simple math in their heads without having to grab a smart phone? If kids don’t have to memorize the times table, then what will happen to that part of the brain reserved for holding math data? It’ll just wither up and die, or absorb useless information like which Kardashian is married to some obnoxious rap star.
How about teaching kids in Driver’s Ed how and when to use their blinkers? And inform them that tailgating is rude and can lead to massive dental work if a squirrel runs in front of the truck they’re following too closely.
As part of the Political Science curriculum, I think all students should be required to take a field trip to a cattle ranch so they can identify a load of bull crap.
Chemistry is not a very interesting class but it is essential if someone wants to go into medicine, nuclear engineering or, equally important, craft beer production. More emphasis should be placed on finding a way to make good beer that doesn’t make the consumer so gassy.
As I wrap up this literary thunder pot (only old folks and history students will know what this is), I advise all you kids to accept and respect classmates of different color, religion or nationality because someday, that person sitting beside you might be your Uber driver, surgeon or president.
Clint Younts knows a bit about teaching, as his wife is a retired teacher and his daughter is a current teacher. However, they don’t claim to have educated him.