Homeschooling Will Ruin Public School…

…and are the bane of the public school teacher’s existance.

This is what I read about on a public school teacher’s blog. I’m not going to link her blog, because I don’t think that a mass of angry homeschoolers is going to make the situation any better. But I did decide to reply with a little something. Here’s a snippet of her post:

And, if it is indeed true that anyone can teach, then why the hell do we have to jump through all these hoops? Why can’t anyone just walk in off the street and teach? I know some people who speak Spanish, couldn’t they teach my class? What about someone who’s a history buff- couldn’t they teach history? And an elementary classroom? Come on! We’ve all been to school, right? So doesn’t that qualify all of us to teach 1st, or 2nd or 4th grade? (elementary teachers, please note my sarcastic tone, I’m on your side)

Oh boy, the irony… it hurts. I wonder though – does she really want to know the answer? I wonder, when someone is a school teacher for that long, and is so used to always “having the right answer” that it keeps them from being a student of life anymore? Speaking of which, this is one of the things we can be easily sucked into at home with our kids. Parents do know more than kids, but, that doesn’t mean we know everything. And, to be honest, our personal opinions and views aren’t always “right”.

It’s a GOOD thing if our kids question us. And it’s a good thing that not everyone in the world agrees with us. It forces us to really think about our opinions. And, if someone says something that makes us want to run, or to tell them to shut up – odds are, we’re not facing our own prejudices. And we all have them. All of us. It’s in seeing them that gives us power, and fearlessness.

And as in the example of this teacher, our prejudices are often due to fear or a feeling of inadequacy. It’s rarely something to do with the other poeple or things we don’t like.

Anyway, why do teachers have to jump through so many hoops, as this teacher asks? My answer is: that’s a damned good question. And one that should be asked to the schools and how they are run, not to the homeschoolers who have figured out that not all those hoops are necessary to know how to teach one’s own child. There are in fact, hoops, but the hoops we jump through are different ones, more meaningful ones, and practical. Those hoops are called – the demands of life, and the demands that we do the best for our children. Nobody’s grading us or paying us. We have to use real-life natural consequences to know which hoops to jump through. So, asking why teachers have to jump through so many hoops – that’s a damn good question.

Anyone got an answer?

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6 Responses to “Homeschooling Will Ruin Public School…”

  1. Tara Says:

    Well, I went and found the post and took some time to browse through the blog in general. (Don’t worry, I didn’t leave any rude comments!) But what I did find interesting were many of the other posts written by this teacher. Her posts about daily life in the classroom outline in great detail many of the reasons our daughter did not do well in a public school setting: standardized tests, cheating and other rude behaviors from children, teaching distractions like cell phones and texting, and more.
    I feel like we are just beginning to undo all the damage that has been done to our child’s self-esteem. (“I can’t read Mom! I was in the low reading group…)
    I am well aware that I am not a professionally trained teacher. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wonder if there is a better way to teach something or get through to the girls (we coop with another family), and I think that is a good thing. I don’t stick to a “prescribed method” because that’s the way I was taught to teach — I was never taught to teach. I’m a designer by trade! The best I can do is use common sense, humor, lots of love and unconvention and keep working with each child until we hit that lightbulb moment. As a homeschooler I have that luxury. That’s what it’s all about for me.
    Wow. I feel really bad for this teacher.

  2. Anna Says:

    If you check any curriculum for teachers, it is mostly about classroom management. That is not ‘teaching’.

    What is most disturbing is the idea that her focus is on teaching, not on learning. Somehow, she has made this all about her and not one bit about her students.

    I will not venture to the blog. I know how it will turn out.

  3. Joanne Says:

    As a former junior high teacher, current adult ed teacher, and one sympathetic to the those who want to home school, I’d like to offer my opinion. Why jump through hoops? Because there is a science as well as an art to education. There are ways of instructing that work better than others. I would suggest that anyone who wants to teach–even someone who is teaching a hobby to an adult ed class–learn about the options for presenting information, engaging students, and making learning interesting. It can make you more effective, because you’ve got a choice of tools to work with (who would build a swingset without a wrench, some screws, some cement to anchor it, etc.?). Knowledge is power–including a knowledge of how to get ideas and skills across. And a deep knowledge of a technique or subject area increases your potential for being creative with the materia. Plus it’s a great help not to have to spin your wheels trying to figure out everything yourself.
    I had excellent teachers in college who emphasized that the child comes first–but also focused on not only how to teach a particular subjet but also how to manage a classroom–because if you can’t manage the classroom, you can’t teach anyone anything.

  4. onlysometimesclever Says:

    Well, first, Tammy, I think you’re awfully kind for not correcting her tenses and spelling. 😛

    And, Joanne, I think you offer an excellent response.

    However… I think its still true that there’s no one who’s going to know my kids better, nor love them more, than I do. There’s no one who will look out for their best interests than I, both in their book learnin’ and in their character development. I don’t need to know how to manage 30 kids with different learning (dis)abilities; I just need to intimately know my own, and as a homeschooler, I take it as a deep responsibility to do so (hence, the neverending ‘perfect’ curriculum search that so many hs’ers love/hate). Also, I think it’s important to call in the experts when the experts are needed. One of my three sons is under the continuing care (4x/year) of a developmental pediatrician and an occupational therapist due to a learning disorder. BUT, both the dev ped and the OT *highly* support me hs’ing: due to the “homework” they give me, and I’m able to implement in his everyday life & school, they agree that he has progressed extremely quickly. The OT (who also works at a public school) calls my son her “star pupil” and consider our work together — herself, my son, and me — the most ideal of any of her clients.

    LSS, with good curriculum and possible outside resources, every parent has at their disposal *all* that virtually any child needs to be effectively schooled.

  5. Joanne Says:

    Thanks for encouraging this expression of views. Good point about knowing to bring in resources when you need them. Please forgive my typos above; was trying out a new keyboard and didn’t get it working right at first (it’s cordless and I’m new at ergonomics!).

  6. momlovesbeingathome Says:

    Wow! She definitely wouldn’t like the comment I just made on your post about teaching credentials then would she! haha! I just found your blog so I read that one before this one. I agree completely with what onlysometimesclever said in her comment. Only we know our kids best – we can provide the love, character training, and education better than anyone else in my opinion simply because God put us together and it was for a reason. He knows what kind of parent and teacher my kids need and He put them in my care. As my kids get older I will have them participate in co-op classes that I don’t feel that I could teach (for example – foreign language since I don’t know one well enough to teach it!) but overall I am responsible for my children and that means their education as well. I can guarantee you that someone like that teacher would NOT be teaching MY kids!


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