Gentle Wind School Newsletters
 1990? REBOUND Volume 1 

"She's Tough, But Fair"

How many times have you heard someone say, "She (or he) is a very good teacher. She's tough, but fair." We wonder what this means exactly, "tough, but fair." Why would a person want to learn anything from an instructor who was "tough, but fair." If you wanted to learn to use a block plane, you would ask someone to teach you correct nomenclature so you could identify the parts properly. You would also need someone to show you how to set the blade, how to use the plane and how to determine whether you have planed your piece of wood properly. All of this would require more "science" than any high school sophomore will learn in the whole school year. Now, why would anyone want someone who was "tough, but fair" to teach them these things?

In the non-reality oriented world of education, people want teachers who are "tough, but fair." "Tough, but fair" usually means cruel and unskilled idiots who have not accomplished anything in the physical world. In any reality-oriented learning environment, people would want to be taught only by teachers who were relentless. A relentless teacher is persistently dedicated to conveying knowledge to a student. There is only one grade given by a relentless teacher, and that grade is an "A." This is because a relentless teacher is going to make absolutely certain that you as a student have obtained the data you need. Some people will get an "A" in ten minutes. Some people will get an "A" in ten months. But anyone taught by a truly relentless teacher WILL get an "A." All of this, of course, is based on the assumption that the student is learning something that he or she is personally interested in learning.

So, if you were nine or ten years old and you wanted to learn how to read, would you want to be taught by a teacher who was "tough, but fair" or by a teacher who was relentless? If you were studying some aspect of engineering and needed to learn calculus in order to solve some complicated engineering problems, which instructor would you prefer--someone who was "tough, but fair" or someone who was relentless? Think about it!

In the non-reality oriented world of education, people want teachers who are "tough, but fair." "Tough, but fair" usually means cruel and unskilled idiots who have not accomplished anything in the physical world.

There are readers who believe that a teacher who is "tough, but fair" represents a standard of excellence in education to which all teachers should aspire. These are the same readers who believe that our expectations of children are too low. They think that when we say that children should not start school before the age of nine or ten that we want to spoil children, coddle children and baby them.

In reality, our expectations of children are so high that they are outside the realm of most readers who have swallowed the "standards" of modern education. This is because the "standards" of modern education are so low and so inferior, that once you swallow them you lose sight of any real standard of quality or excellence. To understand our expectations, you would have to find the most heralded "tough, but fair" high school Latin teacher and then multiply that by a thousand. When we say that we do not believe in starting children in school until they are 9 or 10 years of age, this is only so that they will have the chance to form enough personal character that they will not develop any bad habits in the process of learning. Between the ages of three and nine, children are very vulnerable to outside influences. They easily pick up negative patterns and bad habits that often last a lifetime. What goes on with children during these ages in the current educational system, in our opinion, is nothing less than mental and emotional filth.

We want to put the boots to children between the ages of approximately 9 through 16 years. We expect children to learn to read in a matter of weeks or months, but never before the age of 9. We expect children to get through the first 8 years of math as it is taught in school in 12 to 18 months. We demand that children develop a useful, marketable skill before the onset of puberty. We are looking for aeronautical engineers at 16. We are not looking for made-up bimbos or high school athletic stars.

In our system, we do not accept anything but an "A." An "A" is the minimum grade that anyone can obtain at the Gentle Wind School. A "C" is not average in our system. It is unacceptable. This is because a person either knows something or he (or she) does not. Knowing half of something is not enough.

Finally, we also are not talking about cramming for an exam, getting a 95 and then forgetting the material forever. We are talking about the accumulation of real knowledge which exists outside the "standards" of current educational practices.

Educators, Want To Help?

Educators who want to stay within the educational system can help. To do so, set up a resource center for homeschooling families in your community with computers and reference material. Parents and children could come to your resource center for a few hours each week in order to use your reference material and to get help setting up a course of study for the week. Children would then go home and do their work with their parents. Every subject would of course be kept in its natural context, and children would always be shown how and where this subject is used in physical reality.

Children under the age of nine would not be allowed to use your center for subjects such as reading or writing, or any subject requiring this type of mental activity, since children under the age of nine have not yet developed the necessary mental apparatus to engage in these types of mental activity. On rare occasions, there might be a few eight-year-olds who are ready to learn how to read. The way that you can determine this is to make sure that any child who comes to you for help in reading or writing can already tell time.

The children involved in your resource center must never be graded. You must make sure that you never work with more than five children at a time. You must make sure that each child who uses your center is somehow involved in developing a usable, marketable skill before the onset of puberty. Otherwise the children you are working with will grow up faking competence just like everyone else who made it to puberty without developing a marketable skill. For more information about how to establish a proper school, see issue 4 of "Great Education Moves."