It's only a month until Christmas, folks!
Yes, I am already counting down the days and am uber-excited to celebrate the pre-Christmas season. Actually, I do not enjoy Christmas itself so much because it marks the end of the festive season, somehow, which means we have to wait a whole year to celebrate again.
Pre-Christmas, however, is awesome, as it means drinking punch and Glue Vine, listening to Christmas music (the best music in the world) and embracing an altogether more festive atmosphere.
Over the next few weeks, I will indulge you with little Christmas treats, including list of my favourite Christmas carols, some delicious recipes and, best of all, in early December I will publish a book with some Christmas-related short stories on Amazon Publishing for you all to read, but I will give more updates on that in some time.
Now, let's, sadly, talk about something else than pre-Christmas (while we still can). The other day I watched a report in which a German school for highly skilled students was visited by a reporter. I know I ramble about insufficient school systems and an entirely flawed system for children altogether all the time, but it is matter of the heart, and so here comes another one.
This school is a boarding school and houses specifically talented children, but actually does not trust IQ results (at least not exclusively), but rather incorporates a wide range of talents which are then supported and furthered by the school. Their criteria for a match includes a natural curiosity for the environment, a thirst for knowledge and a specific talent which can be honed at this school.
This sounds all rather good, and still is utter bullshit. Adhering to the above given criteria, EVERY child needs to go to such a school - and, of course, every child should. There is no such thing as a child with no curiosity for the world, a natural thirst for knowledge and a special talent. Every. Child. Is. Talented. And if the thirst for knowledge has already been squandered, it is some adult's fault.
In fact, every human is talented. Each and every individual has a specific gift unique to them, which should be supported and enhanced by a school system in which children can thrive and explore a wide range of interests and talents.
The school was far from perfect. It still had classrooms and frontal lessons, but in its approach to the child, it was very advanced compared to other schools, so I wonder why not every school functions like such a "special" school.
Secondly, which outraged me, was the notion of bullying. Many students there admitted having been bullied in their previous schools for their thirst of knowledge and although it is nice to know they can now thrive in this specific school, it is shocking to realise that this means another school - a "normal" school - allowed a child to be bullied for its curiosity - and it is accepted. The reporter wasn't outraged by the notion of children being bullied for their intelligence or talent. Again, I wonder how acquainted we are to subjects like bullying and how readily we accept it as a part of school. Why do children have to go to a "special" school to escape the horrors of bullying while so many others are still subjected to it?
Thirdly, what annnoyed me about the report - and the reporter - was her question if the students weren't missing out on "normal teenager activities like partying and drinking alcohol." Why is there the assumption that getting wasted on the weekend is a normal thing to do for teenagers?
Well, probably because it is, but why aren't we horrified by this? Ambivalence seems to be key when it comes to dealing with children and teenagers, as you get told repeatedly by your parents to not drink or have premature sex, but still we incorporate and accept it into the "normal teenage behaviour". This reporter thought that not getting wasted with your friends was "missing out" even though these children could pursue their talents instead - which is far more valuable than partying. Especially if you keep in mind that most teenagers get wasted on the weekends because their school lives are so terrible it's one way to cope with it.
It's outrageous to promote such behaviour as "normal" by a country-wide TV science magazine, which shows how acceptable it has become.
OK, let me set this straight. Every child is talented and needs to be nurtured in his/her individual needs. If every child is happy and content, it won't see the necessity to belittle others and bullying will be a non-issue at school which leads to teenagers indulging in healthy activities like pursuing their talents, meeting friends and collecting first-hand experience through internships and such, resulting in a balanced teenager who doesn't need alcohol at the weekend to get through the week.
See, it's really not that difficult when you put it like this. I just don't understand why I, a twenty-five year old woman with no teacher degree, can see that and teachers worldwide as well as politicians cannot...
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