Friday, June 4, 2010

WHY The Railroad Classrooms?


I started private tutoring little kids from ages 3-14 during my college years simply for the extra cash to tide me through. The tutoring generated results in the childrens' confidence and of course success in school and my pool of students grew. Through the years, I have been astonished by the lack of quality of teachers both in the public and private school systems. I had a student's teacher tell his parents that he should not be reading at a higher level (He was a second-grade student reading at a fifth-grade level) as it iwas bad for his mental growth. I had another student's teacher (and this was at an expensive private school) grade her essay's grammatical part as perfect, even though 1/3 of it was wrong. I had a student whom I had taught Japanese mental arithmetic to and who was exceling in his math class when the teacher claimed that he was not using mental math but instead was cheating and that he should use the traditional way of counting his fingers instead. These are but a few examples of the poor quality of teaching we see in many schools all around the country. It boggled my mind and worried me for when the time would come when my own kids will enter the school system. When I had my baby, I wished I had all the funds in the world to start my own ideal school where not only would children be challenged academically but they will also be able to experience an all-roundedness in sports, arts, and other special-interests. I researched a million schools throughout the world and realized that such a balanced school does not exists, at least not in my standard. As such, I decided to start spreading awareness of the need for quality education through blogging about the latest educational news, tools and products that will help your kids excel in their own way and right.

As seen on the right sidebar of my blog, the inspiration of "The Railroad Classrooms" came from my favorite book Totto-Chan. The founder -Sosaku Kobayashi- created a school where classes were taught in old railroad cars. The children had a list of subjects and tasks they had to go through everyday. However, they were free to choose which subject they wanted to study first and were guided by their teacher. Soon, the kids figured out what subjects they were most interested in and often challenged themselves in those areas. Music was also incorporated into their schooling. As a result, most of the kids who graduated from the school (Tomoe Gakuen) became well-established in their respective fields. If you get the chance, I highly recommend this read! It is an easy and whimsical read that both adults and children will love. You can purchase it at either Amazon or Barnes and Nobles online.

Do visit The Railroad Classrooms often. This blog will be updated every other day, if not on a daily basis, and will be chockful of juicy educational information for your kids. If you have any questions, would like to guest-blog or would like your child's talents be featured in The Railroad Classrooms, please do email me at THERAILROADCLASSROOMS@GMAIL.COM! Cheers!!!

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