An Open Letter From An Egyptian Teacher To Parents Going Through School Assessments
by Alia Zayda
There are countries in this world that forgo academic subjects altogether, countries that support inclusive education, more and more people understand the beauty of homeschooling, and then there’s us; with our uptight international schools that want robot kids.
I can see the amount of stress, anxiety and panic Egyptian parents are going through because of the kindergarten assessments. Mothers are freaking out that their children won’t get ticks on all the points on the checklist, that this person who will meet their kid for 30 minutes will assess them, mark them, rate them, accept them or reject them…without even taking the time to get to know them. All that the kid is, and all that the kid has the potential to become, boils down to those 30 minutes and this one word: ACCEPTED or REJECTED.
To all the schools out there, I’d like to say: This child who won’t hold a pencil has more general knowledge than all of his/her peers combined. This child who won’t sit still is always on the go because his/her mind is at work thinking of all the marvelous things he/she can build. This child who appears to be socially awkward is actually a super affectionate, kind, and empathetic. This child who doesn’t speak English fluently (as per their criteria) is advanced for his age in his/her mother tongue.
These children, your children, MY children, are special and unique. They are beautiful in a way that is beyond rating and beyond assessing. These children are capable of so much love and so much good, that what any school thinks doesn’t really matter. It does not define them.
To all the parent out there, I’d like to say: Energetic and passionate children are the future’s change makers. Sensitive and empathetic children are the future’s peacemakers. Children who enjoy painting and drawing are the future’s artists. Children who are non-conforming to what we want them to do are the future’s entrepreneurs. Children who are always on the go are the future’s athletes. Children who love music and musical instruments are the future’s musicians.
WE SAID THIS: Let your children be whoever they want to be, support them, accept them, love them as they are and they will shine. Try to squeeze them into a certain mold, and you might just kill what makes them special!