Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Teaching Kids

I'm often asked what I'm "for": public school, private school, or homeschooling. I think it's because I was a public school teacher for 6 years, I attend a church that houses a private school, and I have about a billion friends who homeschool.

I am for teaching and learning. That's it. Wherever that happens is cool with me.

I've seen meaningful, purposeful teaching happen in public schools and I've also seen some really thoughtless, program-driven instruction happen in public schools.

I've heard teachers in private schools speak highly of children and I've heard teachers in private schools call children "stupid" and say, "You can't read."

I've seen parents teach up a storm in their homes, utilizing their knowledge of their child to inform instruction, and I've also seen some of the most pathetic videos ever created shown in a homeschool setting while the child was literally bored to tears.

For various reasons, I chose to teach in a public school setting but that doesn't mean I think public school offers the highest quality education.

I think knowledgeable teachers, who like kids, who know about reading process, and who make thoughtful decisions about the learners in their care offer the highest quality education.

I think programs are awful. Terrible. I think curriculum created with zero regard for the individual learner is pathetic. Imagining a teacher or parent ordering a curriculum online and doing exactly what it says each day makes me want to throw up.

But teachers and parents that make important decisions based on the needs of their kids is effective and powerful.

I am for teaching and learning.


  1. Excellent. Sometimes I think we share the same brain except you articulate without yelling or being really obvious about your desire to hit people over the head with a broom. Oh, wait - that's me wanting to hit people over the head with a broom for thinking that One Size Fits All will work when educating our children. xo

  2. Great post. Very thoughtful. I have many of the same thoughts. although I like the idea of private school, I also know that there are some great public schools out there. I also like the idea of homeschooling, but am not quite sure with our particular situation it would work out. And depending on how my children are and learn and their interests, I want them to be in the best place for them. Wherever that may be.