So, last year I tried upping my word count with a month’s worth of daily prompts. I believe I made it to eleven. Day eleven, that is, not a word count of eleven.
(Total sidebar here: Eleven makes me think of Netflix’s “Stranger Things.” I have only begun the 2nd season, so no spoilers, please.)
This year, I signed up with Jeff Goins for his 500-words daily challenge for 31 days.
The goal is to write 500 words per day, no matter the quality. That part will work itself out later. The problem that most writers (I assume) have is that we read about writing, think about writing, edit other people’s writing, teach writing skills, but don’t plant our asses in the chair (in my case, I’m currently on my bed) and put our fingers on the keys to, you know, make words from our brains appear on the screen.
I’m hoping to do better this time. My mind works in stream-of-consciousness, and my editing brain seeks to fix things along the way instead of letting me just be free to write/type. Perhaps I should just go back to paper/pencil journaling. I think it does have its place for creative juices to flow.
I’m a teacher, a frequently disgruntled one. Disgruntled at some students, yes. Disgruntled at some admin from far above, yes. Disgruntled with some parents, yes. But, mostly, disgruntled with our education system. It sucks. It doesn’t follow researched data on how kids develop and learn. The powers that be say it does, but it doesn’t. They bark “Test scores! Data-driven!” It’s only data from the standardized tests that they care about, not data from brain science, behavioral science, child development, etc.
What moves the system (the education monster) is just what moves the big corporations, the testing companies, the pharmaceutical companies, the insurance companies, etc. The seductive dollar.
Let me inform you, parents. To the “Man”, your children are numbers. That’s it.
To most of their teachers and principals, they are real, live humans. With needs. With different learning styles that can’t be accommodated with standardized tests. With skills that can’t be tested by choosing (a), (b), (c), or (d). With knowledge and experiences that can’t be shown on pie charts or by percentages. With dreams, desires, goals, likes, dislikes, that your child’s teachers might know if they aren’t overwhelmed by discipline problems or crowd control issues. But, the general public only sees those scores, charts, numbers that cannot possibly sum up who your child is or where they’re headed in life.
I’m a for public education. I’m also for private education, when people can afford it. I’m also for online schools that can take out the classroom chaos, and countless distractions that come with corralling large numbers of students in schools with limited staff to supervise. I’m an educator who loves learning and teaching. As long as greedy people who don’t really care about humanity and real learning continue to be in charge of the education monster, we will continue the cycle that causes teachers to throw their hands up and quit their field.
We will choose other ways to educate those around us.
Well, there’s my 500 words, plus a few more!
Disclaimer: I am posting this without much editing in an attempt to establish my new habit of writing 500 words per day.