I like the idea of redesigning a school. I was fortunate enough to teach in various schools. I noticed the flaws in the education system. I was hired to teach. No one asked for my opinion. The curriculum was presented to me, I did what was expected of me,these are your students this is the curriculum devised by a handful of experts. I am paid to follow the guidelines and that was it.
In my mind there is a lot of things we ignore about children, i.e ., these are the five year olds, who start school in a completely new environment. They are terrified to see a stranger he/she , who is called a teacher. They need to listen and learn and stay quiet and behave.
My problem with this dictatorial method is the poor child is terrified already. He/she is put in a classroom, where these rules and regulations are placed. Whether they like it or not they have to abide by it.
My new school from kindergarten upwards will have a new system. I am calling it ‘getting to know everyone’. I will devote the first two weeks knowing the children. Since it is the kindergarten we should not assume what they are supposed to know. We’d have to shelve that thought and actually get the children out of their seats. They’d sit in a circle . We’d pick volunteers who’d like to ask questions. The teacher would be present but will let the pupils speak. there’ll be a question and answer period.
There’ll be a fifteen minute break. During this time the teacher will observe. He/she would take notes, about each pupil. The number of pupil will not exceed twenty.It is a good number to handle.
Reading, Writing,and Arithmetic would be taught in an atmosphere where the child feels comfortable. Learning will go on in a friendly way.
To know how to read, one has to be familiar with the alphabets. There is a song about the alphabets,it can be a very good source. Interesting pictures can encourage the child to observe and then draw his/her own.
Similar method can help with arithmetic.
The whole experience of the first day in school can make a child love or hate school. There will be homework , they will be allowed to draw pictures of things they learned in school at home and encouraged to show their work to their classmates.
I have only written about the first year of a child’s life in school.
If we succeed in keeping the children interested in their schoolwork in a friendly manner. Everything else will be easy.