(Page 2 of 10)
Regarding Mr. Henry comments on “A Special Kind of Me,” the world, for adults as well as children, is full of battles to win, lose or ignore. No one has time to fight every slight, wrong and miscarriage of justice. The problem with tilting with windmills is not the flight of fancy, but the waste of time and energy that could be better spent fighting real giants. The attack on a silly school poem is not worthy of any AmSpec writer.
If Mr. Henry was attacking school curriculum that indoctrinates our youth to political ideologies (usually of the left variety) or arguing for vouchers for school choice, I would be waving my flag right along with him, but to take a youngster’s poem to task is killing flies with B-52 bombers. While schools do teach some pabulum, “A Special Kind of Me” is not harmful in the least. Most children need a little slap on the back as they travel the road from inferiority to mastery (to use the renowned psychologist Alfred Alder’s phrase). Children learn quickly enough that if we are all special, then being special is nothing special. A poem of encouragement at a tender age is not the stone on the tracks that will derail the train that is taking a youth into the world of being a competent, productive and well adjusted (and hopefully libertarian) adult.
As a teacher of fifteen years, all in the inner city, I can assure Mr. Henry, with little fear of contradiction, that if his children are occasionally bratty or undisciplined, the blame does not lie with any poem or even “mush minded” curriculum. The cure for any ideological insanity that is taught by school is solid “home schooling,” as my students call it. The students who excel, no matter what their economic background, are the who have caring parents at home. I have often had to teach curriculum that did not sit well with me ideologically, and I offered my own caveats when teaching my charges. Not all other teachers catch the left leaning odor or disagree with the ideology; some may simply ignore philosophical differences they have with the lessons. When my child, who is asked nightly what she has learned at school today, tells me she has learned something in which I find a hidden (again, often left leaning, agenda), we discuss the lessons, the overt and the hidden, until she understands what we believe is right and wrong. Until she stands solidly on her own two feet as a freethinking adult, my wife and I are here to shelter her from the storm of ignorance, ideology and hidden agendas of the NEA.p>Mr. Henry is clearly involved in his children’s upbringing. While no parent can afford to let down his guard when his children are at stake, it wise parents who know the difference between a fool’s wind and a true hurricane. br> — Ira M. Kessel br> Rochester (City School District), New York /p>
Sorry to say, you have hit the nail on the head. Kids now do not learn how to lose, ribbons are given for every place, no one wins. Everyone is perfect and then they have to get out in the REAL WORLD and they cannot handle it.p>Life is NOT easy and the sooner kids learn that the easier the rest of their life will be. You do not get everything you want and NO you cannot have that, needs to be words they learn. br> — Elaine Kyle /p> p> Dear Mr. Henry — if your younger son is inclined in this way, you might look into participating next year in The Treble Chorus of New England, an excellent group that practices each week in a church in Andover and gives several local performances per year (tuxes for the boys, demure dresses for the girls) and goes on a concert tour in the summer. Everyone in the chorus is special — meaning, they can sing reasonably well, adhere to the choral leaders’ discipline, take it all seriously, commit to the practice schedule, etc. br> —
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?