What is it with competition? Life is one big competition isn’t it? Survival of the fittest and all that. So, why can’t kids compete against each other anymore? Are we seriously thinking that they will be damaged if they lose? Yesterday was my children’s school Sports Day (or Games Day), which, by the way was only an hour long. There was a host of excellent games encouraging the children to physically stretch themselves, but there was no official competition. Participation was the name of the game. This has got me thinking.
Every school in the world has a fair of some description, whether that’s a Summer Fayre, a Christmas Bazaar or an Easter Egg-stravaganza. At some stage in the school calendar there is a get together, a chance for a bit of fundraising, a bit of socialising, a bit of teamwork and an opportunity for the members of the parents association to show their mettle. The International School of Zug and Luzern doesn’t so much have a fair as a summer spectacular, this is International Day.
If you’re expecting this to be a post on the wonders of mathematics or an appreciation of a beautiful algebraic equation then I am afraid you are going to be disappointed. This is however a short rant cunningly disguised as my next post.
My children who attend an International School, and who are both taught by very lovely American teachers have started to call mathematics ‘Math’!
This REALLY gets my goat and has become symbolic of everything that is wrong with this International education.
“I hate school, all we do is play all day.”
I know you are expecting me to follow this statement with the words: said no child ever, but this is a direct quote from my youngest during last term. As an English parent I have several issues with this statement. One is that my 5 year old hates school. (Surely everything should be new and exciting and he should be too young for him to have developed such a strong feeling about school?). Second, what the hell does he mean he’s playing all day?????
Yesterday was my daughter’s Class Winter (holiday, festive, Christmas – lets as appropriate) party. As ‘Class Mom’ I get the dubious privilege of organising said event, cajoling the other parents into donating time or crafts or food. So we had Stick the nose on the Reindeer, decorating gingerbread biscuits, making toilet roll reindeers and a Santa snakes and ladders game that I whipped up on the ‘puter. Kids were on a suitably high sugar rush by the end of it – job done.