Once a Teacher, Never Again

I could start at the beginning, but it probably makes no more or less sense to do so. When I graduated from high school, I was off to college to learn to teach. That was 1993 and a lot has changed since then.

I did enjoy college and did my best to glean as much as possible from my time there. Proudly, I put myself through Western Illinois University and graduated with honors. When my education was complete, I was full of great ideas and determination. I would make a difference. The Kool-aid was tasty there and I drank heartily of all that I was told.

I believed that children needed to be educated and that I was going to spend my life doing just that. For years, I did some of that. I was good at it, too; managing chaos,creating unique learning experiences, having fun and being silly.

Then I had a son of my own, at the age of 33, and the real learning began. Heck, even before he was born, I was doing research on things I’d never given a passing thought. Things like vaccines, circumcision, attachment parenting, baby wearing, natural child birth, and probably even homeschooling. I read about positive discipline and ages and stages of development. I devoured everything I could think of to help me be the absolute best parent I was capable of being.

As much as I read, I also watched and listened to my son, B, and intuited what was right and best for us. He taught me to let go and trust, myself as well as him. Babies are amazing at knowing what they want and how to get it. The more in tune we became with each other, as he grew, I read up on homeschooling more. This little person had such a fire inside him to move, explore, learn, enjoy and experiment that I couldn’t imagine sending him off to school. I didn’t want him to lose even the tiniest ember of that fire.

Our days have been spent stoking his curiosity and profound uniqueness. School seemed like it would be a very square hole that my round peg should have no part of. The more I’ve read and trusted and watched B grow and learn, the more I’ve come to think of schools and schooling very differently. So,  B and I don’t home school in any traditional school at home scenario. We “unschool,” as it’s termed, which means we continue to learn as B has since day one. He learns what he wants, when he wants or as he deems it necessary. I facilitate and learn right along side him. I don’t teach. I may have once been a teacher, but never again.

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9 thoughts on “Once a Teacher, Never Again

  1. What a great way to look at raising your son.

    As a teacher who is increasingly disillusioned with the education system, I completely understand why some people (especially those who have seen how prescriptive it can be first-hand) want to home school.

    I hate that we have to teach children ‘skills’ that are completely irrelevant, hammering home non-negotiable a that have been dreamt up just to get the correct scores in a league table. Guaranteed way to kill enthusiasm and engagement – for the kids and teachers!

    Discovery and facilitation are the key – if only the school board would realise this too!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I always find it interesting to hear the side of a teacher and it seems like things are the same everywhere. I’m glad we chose to home-school our kids and hearing people like you saying things like that makes me even happier about our decision.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I know home schooling isn’t for everyone, and don’t get me wrong there are fabulous benefits to being in a conventional school. But yes, it’s rapidly becoming about figures and being better than the school next door, rather than each child as an individual. I’d definitely consider home schooling if I had children of my own.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I am so glad you followed me so that we could connect! I relate so much to this post. I was raised in a family of public school teachers, and I taught for five years before deciding to stay home with my children. Although I was raised in a family and culture that was all about the institution of school, the idea of my kids spending their days there gave me a knot in my stomach. I wanted to preserve their natural curiosity and enthusiasm to discover their worlds. We decided that I would homeschool our three boys, and it has gone great for the past two years. If you are at all interested in reading about our experiences, visit my blog (revisionsofgrandeur) and read Homeschooling: the Big Questions. Also, have you read a book called Free to Learn? I just picked it up. Excellent reviews. Can’t wait to dive into it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have read Free to Learn and it’s great! It’s always helpful to find writings that support unschooling and what I’m trying to give my son. It sounds like your style is leaning in this direction also. You certainly aren’t the first teacher to change course once they had children of their own. I’m glad to have met a few now, through blogging. 🙂

      Like

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