In Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, time doesn’t stop, but it does seem to float instead of fly by. For a number of reasons Guatemala is one of my favorite Central American countries. Time seems to preserve the culture there. Time takes a seat on an old school bus decorated in bold colors. It teaches students to type on outdated type writers, it gathers and cooks fresh vegetables, and it takes pride in handmade colorful garbs. Culture is mostly preserved away from the city, so it’s worth traveling to areas like San Pedro by Lake Atitlan. Its views if you are into hiking are breathtaking. If you aren’t as fit and would rather eat by the lake or take a simple walk it is equally as beautiful. The food is wonderful, and the people are friendly.
As a teacher living in a fast paced country where 30 minutes for eating lunch requires one hand for food and another hand for a stack of papers to be copied, memories of summer vacations spent in Central America get me through the rest of the year.
I like taking the time to do things well. Rushing about to make things happen while it keeps me occupied, doesn’t seem the best way to live. Yet here we are America, living a rushed life and teaching our children to do the same. We busy ourselves and we busy our children. I heard a quote at a recent educator training, I don’t remember the exact quote but it was something like children growing up now are talked to less than any other time in human history. Hmmm…maybe in America. And I do believe that the quote isn’t far off. But it seems in the sleepy town of San Pedro Guatemala, plenty of conversation is happening, and parents have time to talk to their children.
Basically my training I went to was telling me I now have the job of teaching children to have a conversation, which I actually think is brilliant, and also extremely sad. The idea that teachers are a last resort for teaching a child everything is just sad to me, and I am not being sarcastic. But I do believe there are amazing parents. I believe they make time to talk to their children. I know also though, that there are parents that are just getting by, and maybe it’s a single parent home, and there isn’t time to talk to the kids, work and providing take precident. I understand we live in a broken world. I don’t however believe teachers are the answer to everything. I hope one day parents can be more informed, because as good as the teachers are that I know, they are one adult to 22 students. Everyone should know that it takes a village to raise a child, not a teacher, and definitely not an institution. As hard as education tries, it will never be able to replace what a child so desperately needs, and that is parents or a parent that gives the child the attention he or she so desperately needs. OH but wait!!! This wasn’t supposed to be a blog about education and parenting. I realize I completely lost track and rambled on, and after rereading, it’s evident I should save this for another blog, but I am too lazy to do that now, so maybe later I’ll edit it. So so so sorry!! Back to beautiful photos of Guatemala. *Sigh.