By: Norhan Ibrahim
Finishing the course 1 day earlier and getting back to school the next day. Can you imagine Friday speaking on how the school system is one of the harshest oppression tools that regime has invented to manage the crowd and Saturday go to my school to start “My very directed teaching process” which makes me back in control of everything, how students will ask and what will they ask and what will they learn and how will they learn it. And ironically I do it in an environment which will convince them that they are the ones who choose to learn this thing (as of course I am the electives teacher).
For more than five working days now I just can’t create a lesson plan (although I am very good at it). And I am so de-motivated to the process of working as a teacher, as the fact of being that hypocrite actor, teaching students for a whole year things, based on “American common core standards” which totally doesn’t fit in Egypt, is very depressing and makes me feels that I am wasting both my time and my student’s time as well.
The other part of my struggle is my son Seif in particular. I used to be that OK with him being at school on different aspects. The first was developing his social skills, and learning how to be interactive with others and communicate. And after three years of schooling this part has happened; but he lost his spontaneousty, and transformed to a very stressed out kid. What happened at Seekem actually elevated the part of his stress, and created a new space between me and him, sharing interests, walking together, exploring new things together. Leaving him on his own while me just watching the magic happens. But we will be back to school in two weeks unfortunately. And the thing is I don’t want him to get stressed out again (which will happen naturally on his first day of school). I wish he can sustain his eagerness to learn new things on his own. I wish his spontaneousty to come back again, having more time with him to enjoy and play more. And also I want all of this to happen in a safe community of learners not in my house. When I talked even with my husband about my struggle and that I am thinking to try other options than the school, of course we went to the replacement issue, so I told him what do you think. He introduced a place looks like Agile Learning Centers, but in his words “this is if I have enough money and resources and other believers who are willing to do the same thing with their kids”. He called it the idealistic model answer for the fact of schooling is not that ok. And till we can find this Utopia school is the best option so far. I didn’t buy because I know more about school than he knows. I know that at school no actual learning is happening, how we all lose our cultures, language, history and heritage, to fit in the “Career Market”. And at the very end they lose their minds and they won’t fit in the market.
The struggle now is massive and aggressive, and I don’t know how will I end it up.