Stop Complaining About Education (share this message if you agree)

Why, in general, do people complain? Isn’t because we have an expectation that is not being met? We pay for a service or a product and we expect the product to work or the service to meet our needs. Right? So, when we pay good money for a product that doesn’t work as promised, or the service does not please us, the first thing we do is complain.

Complaining can be effective in communicating dissatisfaction with a product or service. If the people from whom we bought the product or service respond quickly to improve the service or product, we are then happy. We come back to be their customers again. But, if they ignore our complaints or seem to be unable to fix the problem, eventually we go to another store, restaurant or company to get a better product or service. So, when it becomes obvious that our complaining is doing no good, we stop “wasting our money” and stop being their customer.

There comes a time when complaining becomes useless.

When it becomes obvious that complaining is doing no good, STOP IT. Standing in a restaurant and complaining does no good if they won’t do anything to change it. If you don’t like what you are being fed, go someplace else or go home and fix your own food. It seems some people may actually enjoy complaining. But for most, I think there is a mistaken belief that complaining is somehow going to force somebody else to do something. Yes, I know “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”, but that doesn’t work if every wheel is squeaking. It is dangerous when people waste their time complaining instead of doing something to fix the problem. Nothing changes. This is where we are today with education.

Some people would rather complain than do what it takes to fix it.

Why do we complain? Because our expectations are not being met. But, the real reasons we complain are because:

  1. We believe we have no other choices; or
  2. We are not willing to do what it takes to fix the problem ourselves.

Education in America is not meeting our expectations. Sadly, most articles I read about education are nothing more than complaining. Depending on who is talking, we blame the government, the courts, the boards of education, and the teachers. And everyone blames the children. Sixty years of blaming has accomplished nothing, as our reading ability and educational standards continue to decline. I will waste no time complaining with horror stories and statistics. Nothing I just said should surprise you.

Some of us have other choices. Some can afford to put their children in private or charter schools. Some families may homeschool. If you can’t afford these choices, I caution you against complaining about the people who can. Complaining about what others have will do nothing to help your situation. If you are unable to do any of these things, what can you do? That is what Point to Reading is about—what one parent can do to prepare a child to succeed in getting a great education.

(Hint: it’s not bake sales, writing letters to the school board, or torturing your children with boring educational exercises.)

Point to Reading is about the miracle that happens when a parent spends 30 minutes reading a great book with his child in a way that builds the love of reading and learning. You have a choice you didn’t know about. Waste no time in complaining and start doing something that will solve the problem. If your kids are grown and you are concerned about this country, what can you do about it? Find somebody else’s child and make a difference in that child’s life. Start today. We can do this.

astronaut with PTR

Henry Skinner-Larsen is the author of Point to Reading and the PTR Jumpstart Manual. The principles of Point to Reading™ are based on the belief that our children are smarter than we imagine and can learn way faster than we allow. In addition, we can best help our children by preparing them to succeed in education by building a love of reading in them. That way, children can learn and teachers can teach.


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