Karen's Blog

Let's take a walk through a brand new day.


I listened to a story on 60 Minutes recently that got my feathers ruffled.  The story was about how California is reforming the prison system away from solitary confinement/tough love towards a focus on education. Prisoners are spending more time in the classroom and less time being idle. Sounds good, right? Education is the key to a better life. But, when I saw the topics of discussion on the board of the prison classroom, my heart felt a tug. The topics were almost all about communication, building relationships, and decision making.  Hmm……

I couldn’t help but feel that maybe we had failed these men in our current education system. They all attended school in their younger years yet failed to learn the basic human skills needed for a happier and healthier life.

Maybe it’s time for a different kind of education reform.  Instead of focusing weeks and weeks on testing factual knowledge, maybe we need to spend a large part of every day learning how to communicate effectively, overcome adversity, problem solve, and think critically. These men would certainly have benefitted. Good decision making skills could have changed the course of their life.

Teacher friends, as you head back into the classroom, add those needed life skills into your curriculum.  They are easy to embed Into every subject we teach through the management of the classroom and the words you speak.

In the end, our children are worth it.

Have a great school year!