Friday, September 27, 2013

Venting and Ventilating

Kiera had PCO2 of 46.5 today! Nice. So I guess she's "ventilating" right now. They are weaning vent settings a little. Hopefully we can try again to switch to an LTV after an unsuccessful attempt on Wednesday which resulted in PCO2's in the 80's. Ick. CT scan scheduled today to check out her pulmonary tree. Porta-Cath in and working. Kiera is in a crib in order to keep her from trying to jump out of bed (since if successful, she is still unable to stand on her own.) She did try walking with much assistance and a walker about 20 feet yesterday. I need her home ASAP. Two months of this has been worse than the year and a half when she was a baby. Most parents couldn't stand letting their 7 yr old have a sleepover at a friend's house more than 1 day in a row. Now my turn at "venting." As many of you know, I am a high school teacher. I can't help but be extremely frustrated with the education system right now. If you think of your favorite teachers when you were in high school, I guarantee that if they haven't retired yet, they will be lining up at the door in the next few years. Great teachers who taught us all to be independent critical thinkers and passed on a passion for learning will leave into obscurity before they are really ready because our government doesn't want individuals any more. They want us to push paper and generate numbers and never think outside of the box they have created. The teachers I modeled myself after would never tolerate what is happening, and they taught me well. The people who will suffer are our children. The one thing being left out of the entire assembly line system is the chance for children to try and fail and try again. We have locked them in to having to hit educational milestones by arbitrary deadlines like a birthday. We don't allow for any kind of developmental delay or varied pace. They all HAVE to have 4 years of math to get a diploma which HAVE to include Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II, and an upper level course above Algebra II; levels that some kids aren't developmentally ready for till their 20's. We have tested, them over and over and over again, long grueling tests that most politicians AND administrators couldn't pass, and we wonder why our drop out rates are so high. Plus, we give them less time to process the information, in 100 minutes classes where we have to fight to keep their interest piqued long after most adults would have given up. There is more pressure than ever before on families to make ends meet, and now our children are bearing the brunt of the pressure to succeed, even if their aility or interest lies elsewhere or they just need a little more time. We aren't giving kids options for their future. It's all or nothing, placing their entire self worth on exams. Our parents didn't do that to us. We grew up knowing that a test was just one tool, that it didn't determine our potential or worth. We had room in our high school curriculum to fail a class one year and still be on track to graduate without having to go to summer school. We had room to breathe... and think... and plan... and grow. I think about this a lot when I see parenting magazines that have parents concerned about the age of crawling, walking, rolling over, etc. I have a child who learned to walk when she was 3 and is now re-learning the same skill at 7. She knows ASL but does not talk. She is still in diapers and does not eat by mouth. She has indomitable spirit and a strong will to succeed and grow, but at her own pace. She has missed 8 weeks of school due to illness. She is not where the other kids are in some skills, but she can do jigsaw puzzles in 5 minutes flat. I want her to he happy and healthy, and get to do the things other kids do, and I really don't care if she does it by the deadlines the government has imposed on the educational system. When she is old enough to understand the test scores and deadlines, I want her to know that she is a wonderful person with a bright future, and that just by getting there on her schedule, she has achieved more than those for whom it came easily and "on time." I do not want her to live in a world where she will feel like she's not good enough. (Worse yet, we are putting are teachers in a position of feeling like nothing they do is good enough on a daily basis). If this is what I want for my kid, I am sure it is what most of us want for our kids. Standards are great! Competition is fantastic! Failure should be expected, and there should be a path for recovery and alternative timelines for a happy future.

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