Good Evening, God
This is the second Katherine May book that I have been listening to. I was in the middle of the chapter about her son — at six — finding school unbearable — when the idea came to me. First, I must say, I have only ONE memory of actually learning something in elementary school. That was when a substitute teacher explained about compound and complex sentences. I was delighted! The rest of the time? Moments of shame — being first to sit down in a spelling bee. Being allowed to read Greek myths. But mostly a vast nothingness.
Now, I hear my youngest daughter talk about her job teaching 4th grade. She loves it and she loves her students. But, it is demanding in ways I can barely comprehend. Out of nearly 30 children, 3 have almost full-time Educational Assistants. Others are still learning English. And so on.
Last year when they were transitioning from online learning to in-class learning she had a much smaller class — and it was all joy! Having started with 12 or 15 she was able to create a culture of kindness and mutual respect. That allowed her to gradually add another ten students while maintaining that culture.
Meanwhile our church has decided to hold a meeting to discuss HOW WE COULD PREVENT SCHOOL SHOOTINGS. A worthy endeavor! Of course, limiting access to guns will be the knee-jerk “answer”. I hope some sensible limits will be created. But, focusing on that as THE ANSWER has cultural problems.
That was when my idea popped up. What if we reduced the class sizes in elementary schools by half? That is a POSITIVE step that would benefit everyone. The folks that kill children are profoundly damaged. And our mental health hasn’t been wildly successful — especially if we wait until adulthood. Just having children in small classes might seem minor. But, a small class size allows teachers to invest time and attention in individuals. To actually see those who are in trouble.
Just ONE person who cares — can turn a life around.
People will say IMPOSSIBLE. MONEY!!! COSTS!!! But, I have noticed that there is ALWAYS MONEY FOR WHAT THE PEOPLE IN CHARGE WANT. Frankly, I cannot think of another change that would have a more positive impact on our society.
But hey! Let’s have more out of the box ideas! We need a lot more ideas on how to build a healthier community and country! Please help us, God.