Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What do teachers know that parents don't know?

Here is a blog written by a first-year teacher in New York City with 42 fifth graders in a single class!

In 1985, I started grad school at Brown University to earn a master of arts in teaching high school English. I quit at the end of the fall semester. Although I loved everything I learned in the classes at Brown, my time in a Rhode Island public high school was less than positive. In fact, it was my first step towards homeschooling, even though I was not even married at the time. When people tell me they can't homeschool because they don't know how to teach their child, I tell them that a degree in education doesn't teach you to teach -- it teaches you crowd control. It was the hardest thing I had to do in student teaching, and it remains the most challenging part of teaching for most teachers. It is probably the biggest reason that children need to spend an hour on a topic that they could easily learn in five or ten minutes.

And if you think this teacher's experience is unusual, just read the comments. Most of them are from teachers who tell her that they've had similar experiences.


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I'll have to remember that when teacher-friends and other parents infer that I may not know as much about teaching as the teachers. I admit that I wouldn't want the job of crowd control, but I think I can do just FINE as a teacher!

Cathy said...

Sometimes people will ask me if I ever plan to return to the elementary classroom. No Way! Although I loved the children and planning, I spent so much time on the crowd control. Plus, once you have experienced how differently children can grow up in an unschooling environment, I don't know how you could go back to a classroom.

I have heard the same comment about not being "smart enough". However, I am always amazed at the knowledge homeschooling parents have. We are a pretty wonderful group of people! Cathy