Saturday, June 24, 2006

Why kids grow up too fast, or The weddings and sex

The two P2 (first grade) classes in my school are studying weddings, for some reason. This gives the adults in my school an excuse to lose their minds. First, all married teachers are bringing out their wedding albums and/or dresses. I refrained... barely. I don't have an album, so that wasn't hard, but the dress bit was. I love my wedding dress!

The second way in which the adults have completely lost it was by having mock wedding ceremonies. In a word: why? They went all out beyond the normal things of bride, groom, wedding party: parents of the bride and groom, making of a cake, a reception, invitations sent out. One teacher went even so far as to contemplate having the village vicar marry the bride and groom! Thankfully, the more sensible of the P2 teachers said no fucking way.

I find the whole process disturbing. I don't know if it is the job of schools to teach children these types of things. This thought, though, is strictly American, for we have adverse reactions to any thing of this nature. Schools over here teach religion, which I find bizarre, even as a believer of God (aka, God Botherer). We have our end of year service in the village church on Wednesday and they have been practising "Give me oil in my lamp" for three weeks straight. Anything remotely religious taught in schools give me the tics and I am supremely grateful that I have nothing to do with any of that as a support, or resource, teacher.

Plus, it was poorly done, only looking at western, Christian weddings. Now, teaching religions in schools mean that the schools teach about Hinduism and Islam (the two biggest religions outside of Christianity worshipped in the UK), and they actually do that well, to be fair. But this study of weddings featured no discussions of non-Christian weddings or non-traditional services. And as a person who had a fairly unconventional wedding, I was a bit offended. For me, it seemed to say 'This is the only way to get married. You must have bell ringers, you must wear a hat, etc., etc.' In our ever changing and diverse world, their little ceremony was a bit archaic and racist, if you ask me.

The other thing that bothered me was that I don't think adults should be encouraging children to think of such things. There is nothing wrong with supporting children in play; if children were interested in weddings and then thought to have their own mock wedding, I think it would be great to support them in whatever way they needed to do this. But this was a teacher-led unit. I has many adult connotations associated with it (What about 'gay marriages', which are sanctioned over here, I asked one teacher) which a teacher has lead herself and her pupils into. It's an adult event and should not be recreated for, frankly, the enjoyment of adults. Love to hear what you think.


Well, I shouldn't bitch so much. One of our teacher's son, attending another school, is in P2 as well and is receiving sex education. A bit of reproduction education on a very general basis might be all right, wouldn't you think? Like "Mummies and Daddies love each other and that's where babies come from." Oh no, my friends, it gets worse. They are learning vocabulary like 'clitoris'. "He doesn't even know what that is or where that is!" his mother lamented. "Don't worry, neither does my husband," I replied. Hey -- it's only a bit of quid pro quo, cos I know if someone would set up Boy in such a delicious manner, there is no way that he wouldn't knock them down as well.


Blogger Zandra Towns said...

Teaching weddings is not so bad. Somethng fun to do at the end of the school year, but I definitly think they should have been more broad in the discussion and teaching. Showing a Hindu ceremony and other types of weddings would have been a good idea, if they were going to reenact a western wedding.
I love that we both had unconventional weddings.

Tuesday, 27 June 2006 at 03:45:00 BST  

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