Thursday, October 10, 2002

Where everyone knows your name

One of the things I have against the public schools is the institutional indifference. This Education Week story about a teacher's experience with accidentally calling a boy by the wrong name gets close to my sense of how public schools operate.

Miguel's paperwork arrived about three weeks after he had moved away. I was going through the folder, updating it for his next teacher, when I noticed something that made me catch my breath. His name wasn't Michael. It wasn't Miguel. His name was David.

I wondered how it was that this child could have been part of my classroom for more than a month, and in that entire time he never had enough personal power to tell me that his name was David. What was it about me, about the other children, about the school that made David feel he had to give up his name? No child should have to forfeit his identity to walk through our classroom doors. No child. Ever. It is much too high a price to pay.

Kids give up more than their names in public classrooms.

No comments: