Why didn’t you become a “real” teacher

If you wanted to teach, why didn’t you go to college and become a real teacher.

When I read those words on a fellow homeschooler’s facebook page… I saw red.  This Monday will mark the very first day of homeschool for this mommy, and her family is attacking her.  It’s funny isn’t it, how the very people who should love and support you in all your endeavors, family usually are the ones who find the lowest blows to throw.  In this case, it was an aunt.   Here is my humble opinion on this subject.

What is this other person’s investment in your childs education?

By virtue of the fact that you are her parent and have vested interest in her outcome, whereas a public educator does not.. I implore you to disregard the ill mannered people who speak against your choice.

As the parent, we have a vested interest in the outcome of our child(ren)’s education.   We seek to impart morals, knowledge, and we do so in order to see our child become a successful adult.  

A public educator, while many are wonderful loving people, has no vested interest in your child.  Your child will pass through their class and either fail or pass.  The teacher in general may like your child, but can a teacher love your child in the way that you do as the parent?  To suggest they could is absurd.

 No teacher is capable of understanding, loving, or even teaching your child better than you the parent could!

What is the public educators job?

The job at hand in a school setting today is to communicate a set of given facts to a group of students.  The students then in turn must turnabout and regurgitate said facts onto a bubble sheet which will be scanned and assessed how well that child retained said facts.  They take this test after weeks of intense coaching…..honestly, I could coach any 8 year old of average intelligence to pass a geometry exam if I spent as much time shoving it down their pretty little throats as public educators do.   Also be reminded, these teachers know in advance exactly which concepts are to be on the test, and so they hyperfocus on these.

I would compare that to a parent who wished to teach their child to read, and so they read the same book to them for 50 minutes everyday for 3 months, and then assigned them to “practice reading it” every night for another hour…..it is very likely that child could repeat that book….but could that child READ THAT BOOK?  NO! The child is simply regurgitating the memorized information.

As homeschoolers we have the unique ability to educate our children.  There is a difference you know.  We don’t simply teach them to parrot off facts from a list of common core standards.  We teach them so much more and even beyond that we give them experiences of their own instead of simply requiring them to read the stories of other people’s.   Certainly we read of other’s experiences, those are important as well, but we are so much more equipped to understand things when we are able to recreate them in an active manner. How do we recreate them?  In so many ways!  We can stargaze and learn how the constellations guided slaves such as Harriet Tubman as they traveled under the cover of darkness along the underground railroad.  We can teach them the songs which were sang that contained the secret messages which also helped guide them.   We can practice being pioneers by “going off the grid” for a few days and roughing it with no electricity.  We can go to historical re enactments, we can do so many many more things that publicly schooled children are never able to do.

Homeschool mom….take heart this morning and know that you are a real teacher.  You were their  first and God given teacher.  You are more than adequate to teach your child.



Filed under homeschool, Homeschooler, Homeschooling

30 responses to “Why didn’t you become a “real” teacher

  1. just had an epiphany with my child this week. I could see that what the approach we were using was simply not compatible with her way of processing things and therefore we could change it, right then and there. Done. Moving on. A public school teacher simply cannot do that. Not with 20+ other kids in the class. Nor would they likely have spent the same time with my child and have been able to recognize that it was not working for her. My girl would have just sat there, overwhelmed and lost.

    • Exactly. My son was floundering in math, mainly because he’s my oldest and my inadvertent guinea pig. I switched curriculums on him twice – in K and then in 1st – and the math skills he’d gained in K were erased in 1st. He was NOT ready for 2nd grade math AT ALL.

      We tried Horizons 2nd grade math anyway, thinking some extra time with flash cards, Khan academy, drilling and such could help him catch up. But I have two other kids and really – do we realistically have time for an entire math bootcamp for him? And does he want this just for the sake of being able to say “I am in the *second grade* math book because I am in second grade?” No, not worth it in my opinion.

      So after tears of frustration, he begged me to order the KINDERGARTEN book his brother was tearing up (I’ve got a math natural on my hands. My oldest, despite his best efforts, is just not mathematically inclined – yet – at least). I ordered the K. I also ordered the first grade book. After looking at both, I determined he was fully ready for the first grade book.

      He’s whizzing through it, his confidence back and he’s *loving* math now! He’s doing two lessons a day. This from the child who would sit with his head hung low, pencil down in defeat, tears in his eyes, not even attempting the first problem when he was using the 2nd grade book.

      Would public school address this issue? I don’t know. They wouldn’t have in my day. I have heard they “work with the children” but I don’t want my son singled out as having a problem in math.

      “Ha ha ha! Look at Henry! He’s gotta go to SPECIAL math!” I know how cruel kids can be.

      No thanks. We’ll modify his curriculums at home to suit his learning abilities and interests. I’m starting my 3rd year HSing and I’m just now beginning to feel I have the hang of things. It’s a long road to hoe, and I feel like it takes over our lives but it’s SO. WORTH. IT.

      That said, I have to remind myself daily 🙂 And not give them any food coloring because they act like wild animals if they ingest it, ha!!!

      • I have an 8 yo genius (algebra etc) and a 10 yo who also was my guinea pig haha he’s in the on target or even above target range but he does not “get” things quite as fast as little sister…he is a learner by repetition she is a photographic memory kinda girl….. In PS he would fail bc he couldn’t function under such high pressure…..at home he sails smoothly.

  2. I hate opinions of others. Some people need to worry about their own life, whether its family or not, and stay out of others lives.

    We know the needs of our children better than anyone. God will continue giving me knowledge and wisdom to tech my children as long as I ask.

    “If you wanted to teach why didn’t you go to college”? Probably because teaching isn’t the goal. The goal is to raise our children the way we want to raise them and we don’t want to teach a class of kids. We want to equip our OWN children to become sensible, responsible and Godly adults with morals and values that public school doesn’t teach or recognize for that matter.

  3. Amen! Couldn’t have said it better!

  4. You said it beautifully! Thank you! ~Blessings~

  5. Oooo…. While I don’t hate the opinions of others, this sure does make me see red too. Goodness gracious! We ARE real teachers, thank you very much.
    If what they mean is, ‘Why didn’t you teach in public school?’ well, that’s different. That I could understand as a legitimate question, depending on how it’s asked. Answer: I wasn’t called to do so. This is my first calling and I’m answering it. This is fulfilling, rewarding, and the best choice for my family. My family needs to come first.
    Great post!

  6. Reblogged this on Same Deep Water As You and commented:
    Well said. I haven’t had to deal with anything like this so far. Luckily my family is very supportive. I don’t know if I will be as gracious as this post should I ever face a situation like this.

  7. While I do empathize for the comment that your aunt made and I do not question your ability to pass on valuable lessons to your child, I also feel that you have made some generalizations about teachers that are not necessarily always true.

    “A public educator, while many are wonderful loving people, has no vested interest in your child.”

    In my experience, which I admit is likely somewhat different from yours, teachers do have some vested interest in the success of their students. It seems nonsensical to think that someone would train to be an elementary school teacher and have no desire working with children and imparting a curriculum to these children. While the teacher’s vested interest in your child’s success is obviously different than your vested interest, it seems reckless to claim that all teachers have absolutely no vested interest in your child’s success.

    “The teacher in general may like your child, but can a teacher love your child in the way that you do as the parent? To suggest they could is absurd.”

    This point is absolutely true. And indeed, anyone who suggests that a teacher could love your child the same way that you do is absurd. I’m wondering what the relevance of that point is to your overall argument. It is not the teacher’s role in your child’s life to love the child in the same way that the child’s parent does. It is unreasonable to expect that from any teacher. That is why the person’s relationship to your child is as a teacher and not a parent. The teacher’s role is not to be the parent; it is to be the teacher. Your argument makes complete sense, but its relevance is questionable.

    I do see that you are passionate about your decision to homeschool your child, and I am by no means against homeschooling. I see that there are definite advantages to homeschooling. My goal of this comment was not to be harsh but to remind you that it is unfair to stereotype all teachers as you have. Some teachers can have a profound effect on a child’s development, not only in terms of academics but in several other areas of the child’s life. It would make sense to say that maybe a lot of people’s decisions to become teachers are caused in part by the role that one of their teachers played on them growing up. That has certainly been the case for me.

    All the best.

    • It wasn’t my family 😉 it was a neighbors family

    • I actually majored in Ed. I once had that dream to make a difference in schools….but here is the reality, teachers today have become imprisoned by nclbs ridiculousness and have become slaves to testing, not because they love to but because their teacher evaluations are based upon their pass fail rate.

      I taught….I understand teachers like their classroom children and they do sometimes love them (not like a parent) and public education is a necessary evil because the fact is…..SOME PARENTS are terrible parents and they don’t love their children at all, they abuse them, make them go hungry etc. I’m not suggesting that everyone in America homeschool and boycott the public system, as this is not the answer for all people…….public education was not always in my eyes a necessary “evil” it used to be a place I respected…..and then….It decided that testing children was more important than teaching children…..and teachers unwillingly became slaves to a system they dedicated their lives to, they really didn’t have a choice now did they? Here they’d paid good money for an education and that was their major and what else could they do aside from going back to college yet again to either graduate school to move out of elementary and into college level teaching, or to change majors entirely? That wasn’t practical so they stayed…….and many of them FIGHT the common core standards, and standards of learning, they fight fight fight to TRY to make it right but they are few…..they are the David’s against an ever growing Goliath which is our government,

  8. Exactly. My problem isn’t with teachers. It’s with the system. The system doesn’t work for our family. It may work for others and is necessary for others. But overall, I know that the system itself needs to change, to be better for all involved.

  9. I am a “certified teacher”, turned homeschooler. While homeschooling (and three years after), I was the Director of a homeschool co-op and I’ve seen a lot of teachers both “certified” and not. I can honestly say that some of the most dedicated, caring, and knowledgable teachers I’ve had the privilege of working with have been the homeschool moms. They work tirelessly to make each class they teach content driven, yet enjoyable. Homeschool moms take their teaching very seriously because they have such a vested interest in the outcome!

    So to all you awesome homeschool moms who work relentlessly day in and day out, give yourselves a pat on the back! You are raising a generation of world changers and you are doing well! And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

  10. A loud Amen! Having homeschooled one child from third grade through high school and watching her now attend college with pride and success, I am totally sold on homeschooling. It wasn’t my first choice, but turned out to be God’s choice for our family and I’m so grateful we listened. And funny thing is we have both worked in private schools, my DH as a teacher on both the middle and high school levels as well as adult ed in community college and I worked for seven years as an administrative assistant to the principal of a private high school. For our two kids, however, homeschooling is the BEST answer/solution.

  11. Why didn’t you become a “real” teacher?
    Obviously the person that made that comment does not understand why people homeschool. It has nothing to do with wanting to be a teacher. Sometimes I imagine how simple my life would be if I put the kids on the bus every morning!
    I nominated your blog for the Liebster Award. http://loricamper.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/stand-up-and-be-recognized-liebster-award/

  12. mikanda

    Beautifully said. I have had to work long and hard to get the approval of so many friends and family because “they knew this home schooler once…”. I don’t want to be just a teacher, I want to be a mom first-and-foremost. I want to train them up in the way that they should go.
    Thank you for visiting my blog a few days ago, I think I will enjoy reading your blog too!

  13. Well said. I am a “real” teacher and also a home educating parent. And I can tell everyone, without even thinking, that I educate my son so much better, more thoroughly, more loving and more richly than I ever did in a school. Teachers – and of course there are some great ones out there -have to be driven by targets, objectives, government policies so they don’t have the time or resources, even if they do have the inclination to invest in any child. Even if they did, who knows more about a child than a parent? No one. A parent knows uniquely and instinctively what makes their child tick, how they learn, how to help them develop their confidence. They can provide experiences to enhance their child’s life and engage them in everything the world has to offer, particularly where the school curriculum is constantly narrowing (or is here in the UK!) No one has the right to question anyone’s choices and generally I think these sorts of comments should be brushed off as all they are – ignorance and perhaps envy but sometimes, it makes me so angry! I am not anti-school, nor anti-teachers, but I am against people who feel they have the right to comment on other people’s choices in the interests of their own children!

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