Due to class sizes—and potential limits on said sizes—some schools in North Carolina are facing the choice of eliminating PE/music/art in order to free up money in the budget to hire more core teachers. This has everybody up in arms, and understandably so...I guess.
I have to admit that when I think about it I wonder if an elementary school needs a dedicated PE teacher. None that I went to ever had one. Though I think Joe Clark Elementary did, I never actually attended that school. When I was in elementary school our teachers taught us PE. Or another teacher at the school taught PE while our teacher was teaching their class something else, for example, in grade four (at Alice M. Curtis) my teacher was the French teacher for all the grade four classes. The teacher next door was the PE teacher for all the grade four classes. And the other teacher taught...something else. I can't remember what.
I do remember that in grade five Mrs. Bienart (my teacher) taught science. Madame Muir taught French. And the other teacher taught PE. We just rotated on through them.
Alice M. Curtis had a dedicated art teacher, which I thought was totally weird because Leigh didn't.
I think having a dedicated music teacher is pretty standard...I dunno.
Anyway, part of me thinks it would make sense to eliminate these specialty positions and have the core teachers cover the subjects. Because it's elementary school and finding art projects to do is pretty easy. Making kids run laps isn't terribly difficult either (though I don't think they run laps these days—which is so sad because that was one of the few things I excelled at in PE. Putting a ball through a hoop or hitting a ball with a stick? Not so much. Running around in circles? Totally had that down. My nickname in class was The Energizer Bunny (she keeps going and going and going), this explains my off-again-on-again relationship with long-distance running).
The other part of me completely understands why these "specials" teachers are worried about losing their positions and why the "core" teachers are worried about having to fill more time during the day.
Every part of me thinks that public education is important and needs better funding from the government because if we don't invest in our children—the future—then...just...what are we thinking?! Come on.
So, that was a very long way of saying that the kids' school is having a "Red 4 Ed" campaign right now. The kids and staff are invited to wear red every Wednesday and the children have been making posters about why their "specials" are special. I helped Rachel's class hang their posters in the hall today after I volunteered in Miriam's classroom. The posters are pretty cute.
My favourite thing, though, was this big banner in the middle of the school, asking people why they wear "RED 4 ED."
Smack dab in the middle of the poster was this:
I saw it out of the corner of my eye as we were heading to Miriam's classroom and I had to stop to re-read it because I was wondering why the administration had allowed a "mean" word (brat) to be so prominently displayed in the hallway.
This pupil wasn't name-calling though. No. They just want to "seller brat" good times, come on!
Because if anything is worth "seller bratting," it's public education.
I don't think I will ever get over this.