Put Your Kid on That Bus


Ari at Our Best Version inspired this post. He mentioned that he plans to home school his children. I started to type of this reply and then thought that it might be a bit long for a reply. Check his post here and my response both here and there (they are different.)

To School or Not to School?

Teachers have a huge responsibility. And believe me, it’s not a job that I take lightly.

My dad is an amazing guy. He taught me a lot of things in life. He still does. But I am glad that he sent me to school. I’m sure he could’ve kept me home and taught me all sorts of things. I could’ve spent tonnes of time focusing on my interests and not being bogged down by curriculum and schedules. However, school is more than just that.

School teaches us how to get along with all sorts of people. It forces us to be part of a community of people we might not otherwise associate with. It forces us to expand our horizons. But I don’t think force is the right word here. We all need to do things in this life we don’t want to.

Education isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I’ll readily admit that. Some of the students in my school probably shouldn’t be there. But for the vast majority of children, school is the right place for them. Besides, sometimes parents are too blinded by their own children. They think they know what is best for them all the time. They try to control them and all the situations that they come across. This can stifle a child’s development.

I also know that some parents just aren’t good teachers. I wasn’t a good teacher at first either. I knew I wanted to do this job. I went to school to learn and I got a lot better. I am a professional with a lot of training and experience, and I only accumulate more and more as time passes.

That’s why I think you need to trust me with your kids. Put them on that bus in the morning. Talk to me about any concerns you have. Let’s work together and give your child the best education possible. I’m sure that is both of our goals here.

12 Comments on Put Your Kid on That Bus

  1. Funny how your teaching experience and my teaching experience have led us down different paths of thought. I was completely repulsed by the system. Great teachers were made good or fair simply because of the system they worked in. Insentives were all wrong. Students learned “stuff” at the expense of their creativity and dreams. Honestly, it was downright awful. And I was just a teacher–the kids suffered the most.

  2. I have to say I completely agree with you. My aunt is planning on home schooling her children, and I truly think it is a horrible idea in their circumstance. They’re the kind of kids who are shy at first, but really thrive in an environment with kids their age. It’s hard to tell because she shelters them so much, but she’s so against public school for some reason; she thinks it’s going to corrupt them in some way. Odd because everyone else in my family, including her, made it through and got out just fine.

  3. Hi Oktober Five,

    There are quite a few things I don’t like about school. I try to stay away from these things. I don’t play any of the politics that some teachers seem to get caught up in. And behind my classroom door, I create my own classroom atmosphere and follow my own plan.

    Hi Alexis,

    Shyness is a big problem. A problem that can’t be solved if parents are too afraid that their child will go through anxiety if they put them out there in the real world.

    Over-protective parents are creating new problems for their kids.

    I realize that parents only want the best for thier kids. Fortunately so do I.

  4. Chase, I am glad that you take your job so seriously. I think what some parents have problems with is that teacher they had who didn’t care about their job, or had a bad attitude and thought all students were trouble. The reason we looked so hard for a school to put Bella into was because of our values.

    We wanted someone to instill our same values, while at the same time giving our daughter the social aspect, as well as a structured learning environment.

    I remember hearing somewhere that we learn almost everything we need to know by 5th grade. Also, if you look at the majority of millionaires in the world, their average schooling is 9th grade.

    There are a good number of schools that teach, get a good education, so that you can get a good job with a good company that has good benefits and you will be set. Not everyone is ment to be an employee. One of the values that we strongly develop in our kids is to not lose the creativeness they already have.

    When I was in school, I had nouns, verbs, sentence structure and how to do math a certain way drilled into me. I always did poor in english and math because I had my own way that I understood, but the teachers wanted to see it their way or it was wrong.

    Now that I am out of school, math and english are two of my favorite subjects since I don’t have to show a certain way I got an answer. All that matters is that the answer is right.

    What schools need are more teachers like you. Ones who are not afraid to develop their own learning environments, ask questions from students, talk to parents who have questions and truly care for the education you are providing.

    Keep up the good work. I know there are kids who will thank you down the road.

  5. Chase!

    First, thanks for the link love. 😉

    And secondly, I am very impressed by your conviction in your calling. “Calling” really sounds like it’s the right word for you — as others said, I’m sure schools would be much better if all the teachers had this much faith, confidence and conviction in what they are doing.

    My wife was teaching in schools for a while, but unfortunately, her experience was similar to Oktober Five’s. She felt that she couldn’t teach in schools — she was just there to control classroom. Growing up, neither she or I had particularly bad experience at schools — we both earned very good grades, were respected by teachers, and so on.

    You are right that parents are not always the best teacher, and that sometimes we’re not objective enough. We still believe that home schooling is the way to go for us — but we’ll sure come find you if our kids decide that they want to go to school.

    I was regretting inviting you to that post for a while, but not any more. Some faiths get strengthened when it’s presented with a challenge, and it appears that’s what happened here. Go be the best teacher you can, Chase!

    ari

  6. Oh, I trust you. 🙂

    Or, I don’t trust myself.

    I mean, sure, I could teach my kids – especially elementary school stuff and probably middle school material too. But I don’t think I’m a very good teacher. I’m better at doing than I am at teaching. And I am not a very patient person by nature. AND I need “me” time.

    I am VERY happy to send my kids to school every day (except for the beginning of the school year, when it’s hard to adjust to routine). And they thrive there.

  7. Hi Sal,

    One thing I have learned over the years is that students can get the question wrong but still be right.

    Sometimes I don’t catch on to this until I have seen the same wrong answer on several students papers. Then I look at it closer and I can see what these students were thinking.

    It might not be my way of thinking or the textbook answer but it can still be right. Of course error analysis is a skill and something I think teachers need to practise.

    I always try to teach my students that in math, there are often more than one correct answer. In written responses in any subject there are also better answers than others. That’s where our levellign system comes in.

    Anyway, thanks for the great and lengthy comment.

  8. Hi Ari,

    Thanks for starting the discussion. It’s a good one to have.

    For me, I truly feel that I am doing what I was meant to do.

    The one thing I don’t like about teaching is doing hallway, detention, or lunchroom duty. I sometimes feel like a cop.

    Classroom management can sometimes be a challenge but I feel with high expectations set, kids will live up to them.

    Thanks for the discussion!

    Hi Vered,

    I’m glad to hear that your kids are doing well in school. It’s nice to see that you support it too. Thanks.

  9. Hi Chase – I love how you ended this post. Having followed your writing for sometime now, if I had a school age child, I would definitely trust them in your classroom. You sound like such a caring teacher who is looking out for the best interests of your students and yet can be honest with parents if an issue can up.

  10. Hi Barbara,

    Thanks for that compliment. I think I needed it. It has been a tough week. Some weeks are like that. It could be the pre-Halloween excitement. I don’t know.

  11. Just wait until after Hallowe’en. They’ll have so much sugar in their bloodstreams they won’t be able to sit down. 🙂 Good luck! S

  12. Hey Silverfish,

    I know, I know. It’ll only get worse right. Thanks. 🙂

    At least Halloween is on a Friday this year. That gives them a weekend to calm down and be ready for school on Monday.

    Do I have high hopes? Yep, yes I do.

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