Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dance of the Educational Fairy

The Archdiocese of St. Louis provided our school with a Fine Arts grant to be used this school year.  With this grant and a contribution from the Home and School Association, the fifth grade students would be able to participate in a the Dancing Classrooms program.  After much debate, the Home and School Association put it to a vote.  It passed with flying colors.

Yet, as the semester progressed, a few parents become disgruntled with the idea of their child learning dance in school.  Their argument was that school was not the place for "non-essential" material and wanted the students' full attention directed towards the "core" subjects.  On their own accord, the school had already manipulated the fifth grade schedule to ensure no neglect of these said core subjects.  For instance, the fifth graders have two Math periods on Fridays to make up the Math class they are missing on Wednesday for the Dancing Classroom curriculum.

To no avail, these parents still complained.  Fearing their child would fall behind academically because of the "silly" dancing they took it a step further.  Not only are they not accepting of the Dancing Classrooms, they feel that music, art and computer classes have no place in their child's academia.  And the age old battle ensues.

Needless to say, I have great frustration with this entire scenario.  And without going into a day long litany about my views on education...I just want to punch these parents in the face. 

I am proud of the school for sticking to their guns in regards to this program and all of their fine art programs.  I am proud that the school was able to accommodate the Dancing Classrooms program without sacrificing the core academic material.  I am proud of my daughter and all of her fifth grade classmates for the astounding amount of effort they put into this program.  It showed on each one of their faces as they performed at today's dress rehearsal.

All dressed to the nines, the fifth graders made their entrance into the gym with elegance and grace.  They demonstrated small renditions of the fox trot, rumba, waltz, tango, swing and polka.  As the parents looked on and the younger students looked up, the room was filled with pride and admiration.  Each dance led to louder cheers ending with the entire auditorium dancing in their seats.

Although, they may not have had a written exam or a term paper or multiple choice test at the end of this class, they have lessons and an experience that will last a life time.

So, please, tell me again how this education has no value? 

Because this girl, seems to have learned a lot!


Shell said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I think programs like this are NEEDED in schools. Our kids need the basics, but they need to know there is more to life than that.

Samantha said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

What a great opportunity! It's a shame that some of the other parents didn't see it that way. I remember learning dance as part of gym class, of all things, when I was in 8th grade. Not only is it a nice skill to have, especially in a society where no one seems to know how to really dance anymore, it's great exercise.