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What should children learn as they head back to school?

The start of the school year is filled with promise but I have serious concerns about the American education system.  First, kids have much better resources than we had but we had home training, which was actually home, church, and community training.  It was important that we knew when to sit down, be quiet and focus.  From 150 T.V. channels to Xbox, today’s kids like flashy and that makes good old fashion teaching boring.

Newsflash: much of life in the real world is boring and making yourself do what you don’t want to do is an important part of growth and development.  Children should arrive at the logical conclusion that they will be in school anyway so why not gain knowledge that will make their futures better.  Every subject from my school years has come up in life at some point and in some way.  When Black kids study American history, they should develop an understanding about the past and their obligations to strive into the future.  The revolving door on American prisons indicates that should young people don’t value the freedom many fought to obtain. 

High school economics is a needed subject in my opinion because kids need to know about conspicuous consumption, cost-benefit analysis, risk/reward and delayed gratification.  Even people who make 60K plus working in industry without college degrees should know that material things aren’t that important and everyone shouldn’t know what you have.  We should hope that kids learn to be balanced, law-abiding, happy citizens.  They should also learn that it’s not the government’s job to take care of you; the government doesn’t love you like that.

Teachers enter the profession fully prepare to perform but the half-raised part of the student body will ruin the learning process for all involved.  A stress-out teacher’s thoughts turn to mortgage and SUV payments—so they take it.  As the Negro hymn goes, “before I be a slave..I will be buried in my grave.” I would sooner stave that allow a student to disrupt school while disrespecting me.  To be honest, the wrong folks are having too many kids at the wrong time and they would be the first to tell you that—ten years later.

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While teaching an academic refresher class in a welfare to work program, a student asked me to make a list of the common English errors she should avoid.  The list because the first day icebreaker for new groups and the standard for speaking at the facility—in and out of class.  Former students still thank me for “the list” because it helped them with interviews, work and parenting.  From 600 plus students, a surprising number have kept the list handy for years to improve the English of their families.

ENGLISH ERRORS

 1.     fittin’ = fixing

2.     gull    = girl

3.     baze   =bath

4.     bout   =about

 5.     –in     =ing

6.     dat     =that

7.     doze   =those or doors

8.     dez     =these

9.     nem    =them

10. wit     =with

 11. menz  =men

12. y’all   =you all

13. chew  =you

14. showl =sure is

15. betcha =bet you

 16. nann   =none

17. sometin’=something

18. wartor   =water          

19. flow =floor

 20. foe =four

21. ax =ask

22. lawd =lord

23. lil =little

 24. bitness =business

25. stoe =store

26. lunt =loan

27. wuz =was

28. hur=her 

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