There is a huge fight in our country. It is not one of homeschooling versus public schooling. It is a fight against bureaucracy. It is the fight for our children. It is a united front of parents and educators who want the same things...
Better Citizens, More teacher control, Less bureaucratic crap and a unification of community to instill the character in our children that will lead us all to a brighter tomorrow.
The last few homeschooling posts I've shared have mustered some wonderful responses, both in the comments and in personal e-mails. One shared view that my readers have is that teachers aren't the problem.
I assure you that I know our teacher's are not broken. I come from a family of educators. My aunt is a veteran teacher, I have cousins who teach, good friends who are educators and good friends who have given up their careers to homeschool. I have been a teacher in a private school. I KNOW what it is to teach a classroom full of students. I can tell you that it is not easy, it is not fun dealing with the parents of some students and the role is not what I had dreamed it would be.
There is a problem in America however with our Public education system. Teaching to the test is one of the main issues to date. Teaching to the test strips our educators of their own teaching personality. It strips them of the enormous desire they once had to teach in the style they were created to deliver.
Men and women work very hard in college to train. They have high hopes of becoming the teacher kids enjoy. They want to teach with their own personality, in their own time-frame and with the ability God instilled in them. What they find when they arrive on the job are rules, stipulations, road blocks and denial. They must force the kids to know the material "on time" for the test. They must force parents to teach at home. They must force families to push their children beyond their capabilities at times so the child is not "behind."
Why must they force, push and "whip" the kids into shape? Because they know that if the child doesn't "get it" in "time" then they will be held back, put in a different class or somehow made to feel "less than."
No educator wants that for a child. We want to build them up, not push them down. But we are forced to poke, prod and pressure them to "know it now!"
The joy of teaching is stripped. The joy is stripped of teachers in such a way that it is very hard to pass the joy of learning on to their classroom full of students.
Some teachers can do it. They struggle, they fight for what they believe in, they were put here to fight and God Help them keep up the battle! But that should not be the case. Our teachers should not have to beg, scrape and steal to achieve what they were hired to do.
I've spoken to a principal who flat told me to homeschool and that she would too, were her children still small. I have wonderful friends who agonise over the money spent on their teaching education because they cannot fulfill their dreams in the way they had hoped. They chose a different, unpaid path. They chose to homeschool, to tutor and to mentor. They are no less the hero than our paid teachers who NEED to work, need the money, have to cave, accept and endure. We are all heroes. We all want what is best for our children and for the children in our world.
My dream is that we can all fight for better public education, more homeschool support and recognition and inspire our children toward a bigger, better and brighter tomorrow. My hope is that teachers can teach in their own style and in the child's learning time frame. My hope is that the stress is taken out of educating and joy is brought back to the most precious part of our lives; learning, teaching and imagination. No time frames, no worries, no pressure...
What a dream.