Saturday, December 02, 2006

Band-Aid Solutions

I'm all for preventative medicine. I do believe that if you plan accordingly, stay consistent with good practices, and take the long view on situations, you have a better chance at success - in whatever you pursue. Quality education is a result of these measures, but more often than not, we take on the approach of triage doctors instead of general practitioners.

We can fix 'em up and send them back out there, knowing there's a good chance they'll walk through those doors again in the future to be patched up yet again. Schools are fast becoming the emergency rooms of society.

Someone points out a problem, we jump to try to fix it. Students walk through our doors with a variety of ails, and we put a band-aid on this, and give them a pill for that, and send them to therapy for something else. We rarely treat the "whole person"; we don't seem to have that kind of time.

My concern is that even though triage doctors don't get the chance to treat patients as whole people or long term, they are doctors just the same. They chose this profession because they wanted to make a positive difference. Do we think any less of them for not being your neighborhood general practitioner who we might get to know over a lifetime of care? I should hope not.

Teachers are just the same. I encourage readers to remember that if you are a general practitioner educator (maybe a homeschooling parent), this does not undervalue the contributions of the triage educator (the traditional school teacher). He or she chose this thankless profession because he or she wanted to make a difference in the lives of kids, even if it's short term or emergency care.

I'm just glad they're there. . . that someone's at the emergency room when I show up with my child. I know I can get quality care, even in triage. I'm glad there are some quality educators standing ready.

Aren't you?