The “Should” and Should Not” of School

Ordinarily I avoid the use of the auxiliary verb “should.”  Somehow, during a stream of consciousness moment, I fell into this. Perhaps it’s a chant or a slam poetry piece.

School – It Should Not Be

 It should not be that

Children are made to feel embarrassed, humiliated, or shamed.

 It should not be that

Children fear making mistakes.

 It should not be that

Children have little time to talk and move.

It should not be that

Children sit for long periods of time.

 It should not be that

Children get only tiny bits of outdoor time in nature (if at all).

It should not be that

Children learn to respond, robot-like, to loud buzzers.

It should not be that

Children are deprived of art and music.

It should not be that

Children are fed unhealthy, unappetizing food.

It should not be that

Children eat their meals in a hurry or in silence.

It should not be that

Children are seen as receivers and not sharers of information.

It should not be that

Children’s ideas are not taken seriously.

It should not be that

Children are treated like numbers, rather than young human beings.

It should not be that

Children feel hungry, tired and restless.

It should not be that

Children are made to feel incompetent.

It should not be that

Children are told that learning must be hard.

It should not be that

Children are isolated or ignored.

 It should not be that

Children spend hours preparing for tests.

 It should not be that

Children are given standardized tests.

 It should not be that

Children are required to do homework.

It should not be that

Children are trained to learn in unnatural ways.

It should not be that

Children’s play is removed from learning.

It should not be that

Children sit in crowded, cluttered, dilapidated classrooms.

It should not be that

Children’s days are removed from their lives and community.

 It should not be that

Children must “cover their answers.”

 It should not be that

Children compete with their classmates.

School – It Should Be

It should be that

Children feel worthy, secure and safe.

It should be that

Children see mistakes as learning opportunities.

It should be that

Children spend most of their day involved in conversations as they create, solve problems, and inquire.

It should be that

Children move about their classroom, freely and intentionally.

It should be that

Children spend long periods outdoors in nature.

It should be that

Children experience human voices, quiet and nature sounds throughout their day.

It should be that

Children experience music and art every day.

 It should be that

Children eat nutritious, delicious food.

It should be that

Children’s meal times are relaxed and are opportunities for them to be together.

It should be that

Children openly share their ideas.

 It should be that

Children’s ideas are taken seriously.

It should be that

Children’s health, both emotional and physical, is always considered.

It should be that

Children’s needs are what drive schedules and routines.

It should be that

Children understand that learning is a life-long process.

It should be that

Children love learning and see its value to their lives.

It should be that

Children feel that they belong and are trusted.

It should be that

Children spend hours digging deep into what interests them.

 It should be that

Children and teachers, together, assess their learning.

 It should be that

Children spend time at home with family and at play.

 It should be that

Children’s learning is geared to the way they learn naturally.

It should be that

Children play—a lot.

 It should be that

Children experience comfortable, beautiful classroom environments.

It should be that

Children experience their community and their lives as part of their every day curriculum.

It should be that

Children help each other in sharing information and ideas—and answers.

It should be that

Children view each other as friends, helpers, and partners in learning.

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