Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Now I understand

why some people homeschool their children. I've never been a huge fan of homeschooling, mostly because I know that I'm not cut out to be a homeschooling mom. My kids would never learn long division if I were their teacher (not to mention a myriad of other topics). Homeschooling works for some people but would never work in our house, at least not with me as the teacher. Having said that, when I read this article today I reconsidered my decision to enroll my kids in public school. Alex Barton, pictured left, was forced to stand in front of his class while the other five and six year olds told him what they don't like about him and then decided whether or not to vote him out of the class. Really, are kids not mean enough already? This teacher has to encourage her students to pick on this poor kid? They're kindergarteners! It's not like this was some kind of high school composition class where students were providing constructive criticism on each other's essays! This poor kid was forced to stand in front of the class and get picked on by his classmates in some screwed up version of kindergarten Survivor!

I suppose that the same thing could happen in any school anywhere -- public or private, evangelical or catholic. It's beyond discouraging and disappointing. If we can't trust our teachers to build up, encourage, challenge, and teach our children high quality lessons (on school subjects as well as how to treat other people), whom can we trust? Mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunts and uncles (at least my kids' aunts and uncles) are trustworthy, but maybe nobody else. This must be why my mom was always so involved at my schools. She had her finger on the pulse of the schools. She knew all of my principals very well and was on a first name basis with all of my teachers, too. She would have kept my brother and me out of a classroom like this one because she would have known what this teacher was capable of. As a kid I watched how much thankless time and effort my mom put into volunteering at our schools and thought I'd never be that involved. After reading this article, I'm sure that I will be. Because, if I don't look out for my kids, nobody else is going to.

You know, I was hoping to start working more once my kids are in school full time or sooner if possible. I even thought about using my newfound "free" time to ride my bike or train my dog. Nope...I've got fifteen more years left with my kids and I'm going to be present for all fifteen. Maybe that means I'll never be able to get a "real" job once my kids are gone, but I guess that's a sacrifice I'll choose to make. Just like my mother did for me.


Nick said...

Yes but here is why we don't homeschool.


3boys247 said...

Did I scare you with my tirade this afternoon at the pool? I notice you posted this shortly after you arrived home. Now I feel guilty. Sorry.

carrie said...

i don't think it's been a great couple of months for 5 & 6 year olds in the classroom (see below). however, for every story like these, there are thousands of great teacher stories you never hear about.


Hillary Dickman said...

Wow, Carrie. That story is so sad. I know in my head that there are more good stories than bad, but after reading stories like those two, it's difficult not to be a little nervous about sending my kids to school.