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How many of you are (were) teachers?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
And if you are, did you choose to HS because of what you saw during your years teaching or for reasons totally unrelated? And does anyone homeschool your own while teaching in a school system, at the same time?

It seems that, so many times while browing this forum, I encounter posts that refer to being a teacher & I started wondering why that is. Could be just the odds, I guess.

I'm married to a public school teacher & that fact is often brought up when I mention homeschooling. I just say it's similar to me being a nurse as well as a strong proponent of natural health....and homebirth.
post #2 of 37
I'm a former school teacher also married to a current school teacher. Our shared experiences have definitely influenced greatly our decision to homeschool. We both respect the need for schools, but at the same time, do not feel they are a place where our children would best learn and grow. Our own personal experiences in school as students played a part in our decision too. We are not fans of institutionalized schooling, but at the same time, I am very grateful that there are people like my dh and my cousin, who are wonderful teachers, there doing their best for the students that come through their doors.

What I find ironic is the people that point to my years as a teacher (or dh being a teacher) as validating our "ability" to homeschool - the "Oh, you can do that because you used to teach" mentality. I have found that my training and experience teaching has been nothing more than a detriment to my ability to homeschool my children.
post #3 of 37
I'm a former teacher. I think we're all influenced by our experiences so of course my experiences as a teacher influenced me. I'm driven by the benefits for my kids though rather than the problems with education today. I know I can meet their needs better than a classroom. However, I think I would have figured it out even if I hadn't been a teacher.
post #4 of 37
Maybe it's just that more people who were teachers realize that it's not all that daunting to provide a good education outside of school? I didn't like what I saw in the schools when I started out as a substitute, but that wasn't a direct reason for homeschooling. It was, however, the reason I looked for more holistic private schools that used creative methods and thought differently about how things could be presented - but it was in finding that even the private schools couldn't or wouldn't provide for individual needs that made me suddenly think of homeschooling. And it turned out to be much, much more wonderful than I'd even imagined it might be. Lillian
post #5 of 37
I was a teacher.

Teacher related reasons we'll be homeschooling:

teachers don't have any magical knowledge about how to teach or subject matter.
my children are individuals
one size fits none
school is designed to take up their whole lives- I want them to have real lives
I don't want to raise cogs

-Angela
post #6 of 37
Yes, I'm a teacher/administrator right now. I see how the public school is run in my state of AZ and how much is spent per child and it's pathetic. I see children having to learn everything within the confins of a four wall classroom - Yuck!! I also see the high stakes and stresses of standardized testing. The majority of teachers that I've seen teach (in their classrooms) teach to one level and basically from the teacher's manual. No creativity or individuality. There's also not much original thinking going on...it's mostly I'm the teacher and I'm going to fill your vessel (mind) with facts and figures. OMG - THat's not what we need for our 21st century learners where collaboration and technology is key and thinking creatively is so important.

Another thing that really bothers me with P.S. is the fact that a child's interests are rarely taken into account when it come sto teaching the curriculum. It's generally this worksheet-driven cr@p that has no application to real live and genuine learning - mostly facts and figures - the lower level thinking skills How will our children compete in a global society with this type of education? That's what I wonder and that's why I will homeschool/unschool or start my own private school with like-minded teachers in the next few years. Americans can't afford to fall any farther behind when it comes to the areas of math and science. Changes need to be made and it's sad to see countries not even as well off as the U.S. far exceeding us in so many areas. I've taught in Europe so I say this with first-hand experience. We're in trouble unless changes are made and soon...IMO!!
post #7 of 37
We have done traditional mom does and directed all to now a state funded cyber school....

It is amazing with this cyberschool at how many of the teachers were:

1. Homeschooled themselves
2. Homeschooling a family member
3. Have this job so they can juggle homeschooling and actually pay the bills.
4. There spouce is homeschooling/cyber schooling their child.
post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I was a teacher.

Teacher related reasons we'll be homeschooling:

teachers don't have any magical knowledge about how to teach or subject matter.
my children are individuals
one size fits none
school is designed to take up their whole lives- I want them to have real lives
I don't want to raise cogs

-Angela
I love this.
post #9 of 37
Another teacher here.

I loved my school kids and I loved teaching them and learning with them, and I always learned a ton from them. But I look at my kids and their individual needs, and especially I look at what No Child Left Behind has done to our schools since I stopped teaching in-system, and I don't want to put them in that learning situation. I think they'd be ok, but we can do better teaching them within a community setting.
post #10 of 37
I was a teacher.

I taught at a couple of pretty great schools and honestly didn't plan to homeschool. As the time approached for kindergarten, though, it just felt like the right thing to do. So here we are.

Sometimes that I think being a teacher is actually a hindrance as a homeschooling mom. While I do think that it gives me confidence, I think I have a lot more deschooling/unlearning to do as I take this very different path.
post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinky View Post
Sometimes that I think being a teacher is actually a hindrance as a homeschooling mom. While I do think that it gives me confidence, I think I have a lot more deschooling/unlearning to do as I take this very different path.
Absolutely! Very common.

I used to occasionally get calls for the local homeschool support group I volunteered for from people wanting to run ads in the newsletter about classes they taught. They'd think it was an advantage to mention that they were credentialed teachers, but I advised them that it would actually make their ad less attractive to the majority of readers. It's hard to understand that until you've been on this side of the fence - but there's a huge difference between teaching school and helping a child learn things in a home setting or small homeschool group. - Lillian
post #12 of 37
My husband was a teacher and it was his idea to hs our daughter.

I think what he saw in the schools influenced his decision, and we're in a much worse school district than where he was teaching.

Also I think because he taught, he knows we can do it at home. It adds to his confidence.

He also had friends who hsed their kids all the way through, so that also helped with his decision.

If DH is laid off from his corporate job, he will go back to teaching in the public schools.

We're not anti-schools, just pro-Susie (DD)
post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post


Absolutely! Very common.

I used to occasionally get calls for the local homeschool support group I volunteered for from people wanting to run ads in the newsletter about classes they taught. They'd think it was an advantage to mention that they were credentialed teachers, but I advised them that it would actually make their ad less attractive to the majority of readers. It's hard to understand that until you've been on this side of the fence - but there's a huge difference between teaching school and helping a child learn things in a home setting or small homeschool group. - Lillian
I'm very interested in your point of view as to why you think being a qualified teacher would be a hinderance to hs'ing? Would it be possible to give some specific examples Thanks, Kate
post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinky View Post
I was a teacher.

I taught at a couple of pretty great schools and honestly didn't plan to homeschool. As the time approached for kindergarten, though, it just felt like the right thing to do. So here we are.

Sometimes that I think being a teacher is actually a hindrance as a homeschooling mom. While I do think that it gives me confidence, I think I have a lot more deschooling/unlearning to do as I take this very different path.
Just as in my above post, I'm interested in specific examples from your point of view also as to why it's a hinderance to be a qualified teacher and homeschooling?
post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovbeingamommy View Post
I'm very interested in your point of view as to why you think being a qualified teacher would be a hinderance to hs'ing? Would it be possible to give some specific examples Thanks, Kate
Ah! But I didn't say "qualified" - I said "certified." There's a difference. You can be highly qualified without being certified.

It's almost an apples and bananas kind of thing. Learning how to handle the teaching of subjects in a classroom situation by way of certification involves a more complex structure and usually the learning of traditional school methodology and philosophy. But homeschoolers hiring someone to teach a class generally expect a much more casual and personal experience more up close and personal, informal and individualized - the way parents would teach something to their own children.

But if you're asking about it in the sense of a parent beginning to homeschool her own children, the problem is a little different. It means unlearning emphasis on teaching and learning emphasis on the learner learning. This is something I went through myself, and it's something I've seen many people speak about on bulletin boards and in email lists over the years.

This example is a bit different, but the only one that comes to mind right off - it has to do with the way some docents/guides have a tendency to be with children at various exhibits. I wrote about this for one of Linda Dobson's books, but that might be one in which they gave us all pseudonyms, so I might have been identified as "Lorraine" or "Renee." I'm just mentioning that so I don't sound as if I'm lifting someone else's story ... Here's what I wrote in a recent thread about field trips:
I also thought of a homeschool support group outing to see a Monet exhibit in San Francisco. The docent assigned to our group was trying to make it into a school-like experience, and it just wasn't working. Our children were fascinated by the paintings, and they were quiet and attentive, but that wasn't enough for her. She'd be telling them something interesting while they were standing there thinking and daydreaming about what she was saying, clearly enjoying it, and she'd suddenly break the spell by asking them some inane and needless question to make them demonstrate that they were getting the lesson she was trying to present. At first they'd just stare, because it was so strange - such an abrupt interruption in what had been a productive thinking process - and finally someone would have to give her an answer, just because it was obvious that she had no intention of continuing until she got one. Then they could get back to enjoying hearing about the paintings until the next time she felt she needed to quiz them. So the idea is that trained teachers often have the tendency to feel they need to be "teaching" when actually they'd be better off letting the children learn in their own way - just the way adults are allowed the respect of learning in their own ways.

I hope that helps. - Lillian
post #16 of 37
We're considering HSing and I am a teacher. I get what people are saying; I feel like I will bring some benefits from my teaching experiences but I will also have to unlearn a lot of things, too. Like, I can tell I'm doing a good job giving DD experiences right in her zone of proximal development and letting her go crazy exploring things... but I also worry that when we get into more school-aged years that I'll have to break habits formed while keeping the "show" going teaching classes of 40 students for two hours a day... even though the best educators stress learning goals and not just activities, when you're dealing with the overwheling realities of teaching in a public school (especially with kids who buy into the system heavily, as mine did), sometimes it's easiest to just do things that look like school, that your kids will accept and resepct you for, and your administrators and parents will approve of.

However, just helping my lil bro edit his papers lately has made me very excited about homeschooling. It's like all of the drag of trying to corrall all these skills and topics and students all together fell away, and it was him and me and I could talk to him about what he was writing and how he might change it and why... I think HSing will be humbling as I get out of the way of my daughter's learning but also madly satisfying as I finally can just BE with my student(s) and really know that they are learning, without artificial and unreliable assessments.
post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Margaret View Post
I think HSing will be humbling as I get out of the way of my daughter's learning but also madly satisfying as I finally can just BE with my student(s) and really know that they are learning, without artificial and unreliable assessments.
You hit that right on the head! Humbling it is, for sure - and with a deep and growing satisfaction that makes up for the initial shock(s). - Lillian
post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post


So the idea is that trained teachers often have the tendency to feel they need to be "teaching" when actually they'd be better off letting the children learn in their own way - just the way adults are allowed the respect of learning in their own ways.

I hope that helps. - Lillian
I'm not sure there is a corner on this market with former teachers--or even that it is more likely in former teachers. I think that is how must of us were taught. So people think that's how learning is conducted because it's how they experienced "school". As a teacher I know better..I know how learning happens through experience and internal reflection. And it's partially why No Child Left Behind has made school less than it was before. That the majority of school isn't done the way I know a student learns best is one of the reasons I know I can do better.

I guess I'm saying in my experience I've found that most (non-teacher profession) people try to teach in the way you describe when they are placed in teaching situations. The average experienced homeschool mom would do a much better job I'm sure. I'm talking about the secretary who is teaching Sunday School--she teachers the way she remembers school. And I've watched many non-teacher parents try to "teach" their young kids in this way.
post #19 of 37
You can count me among those who are certified but not qualified. I have a teaching degree, but I never followed through and worked in a school.

For me, deschooling myself meant re-examining my whole framework of knowledge. For example, why have an area of knowledge called "social studies?" So much falls under that category that could easily overlap into other fields. In a homeschool setting, it may make more sense for a child to learn "social studies" as it is encountered naturally in life, interwoven among various areas of study.

How about "grammar?" What is grammar but a way to evaluate whether a person is speaking/writing according to accepted usage? If my son knows how to use adverbs correctly, does it matter that he doesn't know it's called an adverb? The point here is that if I know he understands something, I can let go of the constant evaluation that is necessary in a class.

Grades and grade levels are another area that caught me. I always assumed that school curricula were written by experts who knew what was best for children at each age. I felt that if I homeschooled, I would need to ensure that my child stayed "at grade level." Now I've come to see that every curriculum is arbitrary at some level, and no child fits the model perfectly. Even among school districts, children will be taught different skills at different ages, and some children will inevitably be promoted without mastering all the skills taught.

Please don't interpret this to mean I have anything against social studies or grammar, or those who choose to specifically teach them. These are just a few examples of ways MY mind has changed since I've been reading about homeschooling.

post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by birdie22 View Post
Please don't interpret this to mean I have anything against social studies or grammar, or those who choose to specifically teach them. These are just a few examples of ways MY mind has changed since I've been reading about homeschooling.

Well, you're way ahead of the game - I think the majority of people don't get there till they've gone through a lot of experience and seen it with their own eyes. Lillian
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