Guest Post – Unqualified to Teach

(This was sent me by Cindy LaJoy, a fine writer and mom of five homeschoolers. I could not agree with her more as you know if you’ve read Poor Cheated Little Johnny, and felt it was well worth sharing with you! Enjoy! I imagine many of you will agree.)

Being relatively new to homeschooling and hitting the end of our second year, I had an interesting conversation with a new acquaintance last week. Upon learning that we were a homeschooling family, she asked me what sort of degree I had and how I became certified to teach. This was not asked in an insulting manner, but with an honest desire to understand something that was completely new to her, and as someone who was of a much older generation she had never been in conversation with someone who had homeschooled before.

When I told her that I had only a high school diploma and there was no certification required, she sat there dumbfounded. After a few uncomfortably quiet moments she then tentatively asked “Well, how can you teach your children if you don’t have a degree in education?

I’ll admit to being unsettled for a moment as I struggled to come up with an appropriate answer. After all, how DID I come to the conclusion that I was qualified to teach my children when, in fact, I had never been to college, never tackled advanced mathematics, never taken chemistry? For a brief moment I experienced that shadow of doubt that continues to haunt me as I acknowledge what I know to be true…I am no more an educator than the man on the moon.

What I am is a mom.

For thousands of years, moms did their jobs and did them quite well. They bore children, they sacrificed all for them, and they protected them from the evils of this world. Mothers taught their children what they knew, and looked for opportunities to expose their children to others who could teach them things they were not “qualified” to do. Taken to its most basic level, even Cro-Magnon mommies would teach their children how to groom themselves and forage for food, and send their children to the males to learn valuable hunting skills they might not be as prepared to teach. When you think about it, educating our children is something we have ALWAYS done until the last 150 years or so when we relinquished that part of our parenting to those who were supposedly better equipped to do the job better than we. No wonder that the schools have also assumed the role of parent in so many other circumstances.

We abdicated our parental authority years ago, on the first day of Kindergarten, when we walked hand in hand with our beloved child through the doors of our local public school and said “go ahead and educate him, I can’t do it myself.”

What we don’t need are more professionals with titles and degrees, what we don’t need are more dollars spent on education. What we do need are more parents casting aside what society has brainwashed them into thinking, moms and dads need to reclaim the roles that are rightfully ours. We don’t need professional “educators” to teach our kids, we don’t need to rely solely on outsiders to impart knowledge. If we managed to somehow successfully navigate the choppy seas of school ourselves, then there is no reason to view ourselves as unqualified to teach our own children. After all, can’t we read, write and compute? And if we can’t do so satisfactorily, don’t we have the ability to find someone else who can to teach those subjects in areas we feel less than competent?

So there I sat across from my new friend, and it was an epiphany for me, for it became the first time I felt confident enough to look her straight in the eye, and rather than fumble my way gracelessly through a rambling explanation of why we felt I could educate my children without a college degree myself, I quietly offered this “I’ve taught them everything else they’ve needed to know, I can see to it that they are taught the rest as well.” Period. No justification offered, no explanation of how terrific many homeschool materials are or how we have a great support system. I am a mom, that already makes me qualified to wear the title “Teacher” proudly.

There are sure to be times when calculus questions arise and I can’t answer them. There will definitely be explorations into Shakespeare that will bore me to tears or economics tests to be administered that make no sense without the teacher’s guide. The difference between today and a year and a half ago is that I know I can find the answers, I have empowered myself to be an excellent educator for our children by recognizing 2 important facts…#1 There is no one in the world who will be as passionate about making certain our kids are well educated than I am, and #2 There is no question that will ever be asked that I can not eventually find the answer for either by myself or through others whom I might seek out for a particular subject. Internalizing those two key facts have created in me an entirely new outlook. I can do this! Of COURSE I can!

So can you, even if you don’t have a piece of parchment with your name on it hanging on the wall. You never needed an advanced degree when you taught your children their first words, their first steps, how to ride a bike or use a knife safely or any other practical or not-so-practical skill, like making arm pit farts or how to thoroughly and completely tangle up the Christmas lights for next year. So why do we fear teaching reading or science or math? After all, armpit farts are a real challenge.

I’ll take that title of “Educator” if you insist, but frankly, I see the title of Mom as being more useful and descriptive, and a much harder one to earn, for a Mom’s job title is far more broad. A mere educator only teaches, but a Mom has far reaching duties that involve educating but also include a whole lot more. We need only remember that the two are not interchangeable, and perhaps that is something we as a society have forgotten which has led schools to assume roles that were never theirs to take on. After all, a Mom can certainly be an Educator, but an Educator can never be your child’s Mom.

That’s all the qualification you’ll ever need.
_____

From Steven:

As you probably know, I am an advocate for homeschooling. It’s my belief that homeschooling potentially provides a student with a vastly superior education than schooling in any form. This is backed up by a lot of numbers and research. I’ve taught for public and private schools, at the University level, as a private instructor in thousands of workshops, and as a homeschool dad running a homeschool group. Homeschooling by far works best for most students- and most families.

But I understand that many parents do not believe they can effectively homeschool. They’ve been told that they “don’t have degrees,” and that they “aren’t qualified.” This is all nonsense, of course. You’re legally not required to have any kind of a degree to homeschool your kids anywhere in the U.S. A lot of people who have degrees and who call themselves “professional teachers” are simply awful, and even destructive at what they do. A lot of parents…hundreds that I know of…have homeschooled their kids right into universities and careers.

In a serious effort to make homeschooling easier to do, and more commonly successful in terms of education received, I’ve authored my own curriculum. It took some 15,000 hours to write, over more than a decade of work, and is intended to replace the need for schooling a student from age 5-Adult Continuing Education. The curriculum is called Steps (or “CTT”). It has been used by over 20,000 students worldwide over the past 10 years. Hundreds of “success stories” attest to how well CTT works.  (Cindy, who wrote the article above, has used CTT extensively with her own five children.)

CTT courses are written in a way that gradually allows the student to take over his own education. Each course itself largely does the teaching, relieving mom and dad of that duty unless they wish to use our daily lesson plans in various subjects as springboards for family discussion and discovery – as many families do, every day. The parent has the job of making certain the student is working and has what they need to study. (And you’ll need to find a good math program for homeschooling as we don’t provide one. There are many.)

Below are links to our site discussing each level of curriculum, and every subject at that level that we offer. (You can start any level at any time. We don’t have “semesters” that start at a certain time, and each course stands alone well.) You’ll find free videos describing how every subject and each level works. You’ll discover free samples of every course we offer. Our site offers many other services and surprises, including numerous free courses you can download and try out.

Starter is for ages 5-6, and for preliterate students of any age. It focuses on starting to develop literacy skills, while teaching about various subjects. Starter includes full two-year programs in Reading, History, Science, Creative Writing, and Living Your Life, courses that develop life and study skills for the youngest students. Every lesson plan at the Starter level works to develop literacy.

Elementary is for ages 7-8, and for students who are developing literacy. It includes two-year programs in Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing (which also teaches the parts of language at this level), and Living Your Life courses which develop life and study skills in preparation for more advanced studies to come.

Lower School (ages 9-10) offers two-year programs in Study Essentials, Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing, P.E. Electives, and in various arts such as Animation, Music Theory, and Acting. At this level, students must read fairly well, and studies are progressively turned over to the student.

Upper School (ages 11-High School, and Adult Continuing Education) provides programs in Study Essentials, Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing, Current Events, Literature Guides, P.E. Electives, and in arts such as Animation, Acting, Music Theory, and Music History.

For parents who wish to teach at home, but are intimidated at the thought, and for parents who just wish to improve the homeschool experience, we offer a ten course homeschool program for homeschool teachers, as well as several books about education and homeschooling today.

We want you and your children to win with homeschooling!

27 comments for “Guest Post – Unqualified to Teach

  1. May 6, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Well written! Well done!

    I home educate my four boys for the same reasons. I especially like your last paragraph.

    Keep on keeping on. Our children are the world’s future leaders!

  2. June 5, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Excellent!

  3. June 6, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    This is very well said! I’d really love to invite the author to contribute this piece to my site. I can be contacted at info@unpluggmom.com.

  4. July 8, 2011 at 8:00 am

    wonderful article! thank you! I would love this article posted on my site as well if that is okay.

  5. mrs q
    September 19, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    As an educator and friend of homeschooling Moms, I’m a little offended. I followed this link off a friend’s Facebook page because I was curious what it was about. I believe that teaching is my calling in life, and earning my degree was a necessity to teach in public education. Professional educators should respect the role of parents in their children’s education, but parents should also respect the role of educators. I don’t expect parents to know all the “tricks of the trade” when it comes to teaching just as I’m no expert in being a mom. I honestly feel a little devalued in my calling, and I sure hope this wasn’t your intention.

  6. September 20, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Hello, Mrs. Q. (I see that you, like almost all of the “teachers who write here, refused to leave a name. Hmmm.) Teachers as a whole provide a TERRIBLE result, civilization wide. Hence, generations of gradually increasing functional illiteracy, ever-less-educated populations in the workplace and in politics, creating the DISASTROUS economic mess we’re in, etc. You came to the wrong place if you wanted a backrub and a pat on the head, or even an apple. There certainly are a few teachers out there (very few) for which teaching is a calling. But all that “training” you touted above tends to make even the promising teachers into unethical destroyers of young lives. You KNOW that testing ruins life, but you continue to use it, do you nowt, “Mrs. Q”. You KNOW that grading is just a control mechanism, and that it’s used to control the student’s school and after-school hours and what he does with them, as well as the parent’s attention and time. That’s pretty evil, lady, but you were trained to use these things and I have little doubt that you continue to do so. You do NOT possess any of the moral high ground any more, not as people look harder at the misery teachers dispense, as they collect significant paychecks for 9 months of work a year. You may be one of the few – the very few – decent teachers who has in some miraculous way maintained her humanity and recalled that education is for the student and their benefit, and that it’s not about “teacher’s benefits”. You want respect – this isn’t the place you’ll get it unless you can prove your worth. And by just being a “teacher”, you haven’t earned any respect here.

    Parents should NOT IN ANY WAY respect a teacher for being a teacher! Parents should only respect the rare teacher who truly serves her students, who avoids entirely testing, grading, evaluations and the other destructive “standard” tools of education in use today. Such people are not worthy of respect – but they do deserve unemployment. You felt “devalued”. Wow, after what teachers do to devalue MILLIONS OF CHILDREN every day of the week, a think it’s about time you ate a little of that stew you dish out under the guise of “professionalism”.

    • October 4, 2011 at 6:11 am

      Blanket statements such as “teachers as a whole provide a TERRIBLE result, civilization wide” serve no purpose. They are intellectually dishonest. There are very real problems in the public education system, and the solutions are out of the average classroom teacher’s control. While it may be true that there is a “gradually increasing functional illiteracy” in our country, is that the fault of the 12th grade history teacher who finds the functionally illiterate student in his or her classroom, or is it the fault of the grammar school teachers, administrators, and parents of that student for not addressing the problem during the early educational years? The 12th grade history teacher is not responsible for 11 years worth of social promotions. You hold them all in equal contempt.

      • October 4, 2011 at 7:25 am

        Arby,

        Okay, you’re a teacher, so fess up. You ARE one of the people described herein. Yes, there ARE real problems in the public education system. What IS that system? Teachers and schools, Arby, and they ARE the problem, since they are the only things that can BE the problem. By the way, though some kids start homeschooling young, horrified along with their parents at Elementary school garbage, most start to homeschool in their later school years – the years you claim teachers should not be blamed. So you threw Elementary school teachers under the bus to protect the reputation of Upper School teachers? Nice, “Arby”, nice.

        Almost NO problem in the classroom is outside of a GOOD teacher’s control, so your apologia holds very little water. A good teacher can inspire, recognize that student’s have their own wishes, ambitions, skills and understandings, can put two and two together and get some kind of job done. Granted, Arby, such teachers are VERY rare – you clearly aren’t one of them based on your apologia.

        And blaming it on the parents? Really, after you’ve stolen nearly ALL a child’s time from age 5 by shoving him in a classroom and THEN piling on the homework? Talk about intellectually dishonest!

        It is not a “MAY BE TRUE” that functional illiteracy is on the rise – it is statistically a very sad fact, Arby. Teachers are the reason, teachers and terrible schools. You people are entrusted with the job of education. Literacy is a part of that job, Arby, or have you forgotten? Teachers seem to have, in many cases.

        I can’t speak for Cindy, but I’ve personally known and worked with teachers at every level of education from pre-school through the University level. There are a few, a very few teachers who are loving and smart and terrific, and I admire and support them. But they’re about one in a hundred, maybe less. The rest, speaking for myself, I hold in something less than contempt. They take public funds under false and self-serving pretenses, pretending to offer a service when in truth, they destroy more lives than I could safely guestimate. You wouldn’t be one of those people, would you? “Arby”?

    • Andrea Letham
      October 1, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      Steven,
      I am a homeschooling mom. I also served for four years on the local school board. Having sat through hundreds of hours of meetings with administrators, teachers, union reps and the public I have learned a few things.
      FIRST~ There are MANY wonderful teachers out their whose “calling” IS to teach, nurture and inspire children. PERIOD.
      SECOND~ There are hundreds of education mandates sent down from the government to teachers that have NOTHING to do with teaching and everything to do with indoctrination, misdirection and so called “professionalism”. Often the teachers are not excited and even hate these mandates but are STUCK.

      The public school system is broken, beyond broken and it has robbed our children of precious truths, critical thinking skills and truth. But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater and BLAME teachers for the mess of public school. Many of them entered the profession as idealists to serve the youth. Many of them stay because they need a job and still try to make a difference in their own sphere of influence.

      Be grateful for the many good teachers that hold firm to their “calling” and instill courage, knowledge and truth to their students. Often they spend countless hours supporting children who otherwise may not have it due to the breakdown of their family.

      Further, education is not BLACK AND WHITE as you have purported it to be. I applaud home school moms and families! We need more courageous parents to say, “the system no longer works for me and my child”. Personally I take the best from both worlds. We have a FANTASTIC Spanish teacher and Band program in our district. My children attend these classes at the local public school and them home school for the rest of their subjects. One can find good and balance if they are earnestly seeking it.

      Finally, there are plenty of home school situations that are TERRIBLE too! I’ve seen kids age 6 that didn’t even know their last name!!

      Promote home school, teach about the pitfalls of public education but DON’T generalize and isolate good people. EDUCATE and maybe you might win over some teachers…I know I have!

      • October 1, 2013 at 10:27 pm

        Andrea, USE ALL THE CAPS IN THE WORLD…it does not make you right. No one is “stuck” in a job. If one perceives a job is unethical and that doing it hurts others, they are obligated to leave that job. PERIOD. If teachers don’t like all those mandates, let them strike to eliminate them, instead of (as they always always do) striking for more pay, more perks, shorter hours, but never for the benefit of their students. The public school system is broken, yes, it is. The delivery system for their broken, perverse methodology, those who guarantee the wretched results we all see coming out of our public schools…are teachers. Who else? They’re on the ground. They see the lives they are ruining. They continue to accept those paychecks, though…so let’s not have any more fairy tales about good teachers with good hearts, that lie has had it’s time. How nice of you, that you cherry pick the few workable classes in your district for your kids. You found one or two you like, congratulations. Start sending your kids to the rest of the garbage they provide, and we’ll see exactly what tune you start to sing. I’ve had far too many public school teachers tell me that they homeschool their own kids for any of this to be debated. Even they know – the schools are pure garbage…and they don’t want their own children subjected to it. And how interesting that you served on your local school board and you homeschool YOUR kids. Very telling.

        I could not care less who you “won over” to your vision of the world, Andrea, as it is ultimately going to harm a lot of kids, and profit a lot of dishonest teachers. And NEVER feel you have the right to lecture me or anyone who homeschools about education. I will write precisely as I do, thank you, after being an educator for over four decades. Feel free to cling to your distorted and rather self-serving view of the world. But public schools are getting shut down all over the nation, to which I can only say “at last!”

  7. robin
    September 20, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Wow, That sounds harsh. As a homeschooler who loves books. I believe you can judge a book by a cover. I certainly don’t believe teachers should be so harshly projected. I was given a public school education.Granted it has been many years since I have gone to school some of my fondest memories are with public school teachers. As a homeschooler I believe I know what is best for my children but would be horified if one of my children generalized a group of people like you have. I am homeschooling for many reasons but one reason is to teach respect and diginty which is a parents responsiblity wheather homeschooled or public schooled. Just because we choose to homeschool doesn’t mean we should disrespect a profession that many great people choose,teaching. It is the system that is misplaced not the teachers. As a mom of a homeschooler who wants to be a teacher I say May God bless all teachers wheather you are a homeschool teacher mom or a public school teacher. I

  8. September 20, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Well, Robin, we’re going to have to disagree, mostly because you’re wrong. “Teachers” who destroy the lives they touch do not deserve any sort of blessing. The results speak for themselves.

    I also was publicly schooled. But 95% of what I learned, including how to read and compose music, write plays and screenplays, how to act and direct – and eventually how to teach – was learned on my own and away from schools that were busily draining away my time and energy. I had NO teachers, private or otherwise, teach me these things. I worked very hard because I was “called”, and did it myself. And I was close to a “straight A” student. My best memories of school (early 70s, High School) all have to do with projects I initiated or took over, and which had nearly nothing to do with school.

    Let’s talk about respect. Who deserves it, Robin? Do we ALL deserve it – because your response here is quite disrespectful of my experience and views. Respect is an earned thing, it should not be given to all comers like candy on Halloween. I hope you teach your children that. And teachers who have failed miserably in their jobs – schools that emasculate children under the guise of ‘education’ – most certainly do not deserve any respect. They deserve to be shut down.

    Yes, many people choose to teach. As you say, it’s now a profession. As I’ve said MANY times – teaching used to be a calling. But no more, thanks to people like you who “accept” everything at face value (like you, ‘judging books by their cover’, including a blind acceptance of the promo you’ve been dished for decades about teachers, how “valuable” they are, how “overworked” and “underpaid”). Today, anyone with a piece of paper from a college can (and does) teach. They need no calling – just a desire for benefits and a 9 month working year.

    I’m sure you do want to “be a teacher”, as you mentioned – and accordingly, you’d like all teachers to be respected. That’s pretty self-serving. But then – it’s a profession, and one must protect one’s income.

  9. September 27, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    This is a WONDERFUL post! Thanks so much for linking it on Twitter!! I would also like to post this on my blog with the author’s permission. Our readers at The Homeschool Apologist would love this post! If you would be so kind as to provide her with my contact information, I would be very grateful.

    I very much enjoy your blog, though I’m afraid I don’t often comment! Thanks again!

    Linda

  10. sheri
    December 18, 2011 at 3:45 am

    while reading this it made me very sad, To see so much hate! I’m a home school mom and I’m shocked…

    • June 17, 2012 at 11:21 pm

      Well. I am a homeschool mom and a public school teacher. I think it’s funny that I can do both successfully, and I do. Nothing is perfect in this world and that includes public school education. Homeschooling is not perfect either. Some people homeschool better than others. I am personally impressed with the blog post, but appalled at Steven David Horwich hate in these posts. I’m disappointed because Mr. Horwich led me here through his Twitter post. I will not be purchasing any homeschooling materials from him, let me tell you. Other than that, I have found the conversation in the comments to be intriguing. @andreajnichols

      Andrea J Nichols

      • June 18, 2012 at 7:31 am

        Yes, well, Andrea, I guess you figured out just how imperfect schools are – and hence, you homeschool. Your local schools…like the one you apparently teach at per your post here, clearly did not cut the mustard for your own child.

        I do not hate schools. I do hate what they do and have done to children, how they destroy families, how they decimate lives. But a “school” is just a place, and you can perhaps not enjoy a place, but it’s hard to hate one. The people in them who harm children, those people, I do not like very much, it is true. Per the Dept. of Ed., in a 2004 report, between 6-10% of all children who public school will be sexually abused by either a teacher or school staff member during their years in school. There are some 77 million kids in public schools. That would add up to some 4-7 plus million children abused. And of course, this is only one way that the educational system and its practitioners abuse children. There are many articles here, and at Homeschool Under Siege, that discuss educator abuses. They are legion. So how shall we react to teachers and schools after 150 years of their draining away national resources, their unions insisting on more rights and pay when we already can’t get rid of abusive and failed teachers because the union lawyers make it too expensive for school districts to do so? And this is not a political tract, I am not political. My concern is solely for children.

        You obviously are concerned for your own child – you homeschool. But I don’t see you advocating others to do so. And of course, if they did, your school would stop receiving funding from the state and you’d be out of work. After all, schools are paid by head count, as you know if you are in the system. I taught in the Los Angeles Unified Scho0ol District, and at U.S.C., and in private schools for over a decade. I stopped supporting schools when I truly saw what they do, how they harm children. Maybe, someday, you’ll have a similar epiphany.

        In the meantime, congratulations on homeschooling and protecting your own child from the system we call “public education”. And so interesting you choose to do so.

  11. December 18, 2011 at 7:15 am

    Um, yes, well, as a homeschool dad, teacher for about 40 years (including in public and private schools), and a person deeply concerned with the quality of education today, I’m shocked a) that you’re shocked, and b) that that is all you have to say. Open your eyes. The abuses of schools, particularly public schools, are creating a cataclysm in our country. You need to get “unsad”, and get angry.

  12. sheri
    December 18, 2011 at 11:55 am

    ok so what happens to those uneducated parents that send their children to schools to try give them a better chance than what they have/had? If they can’t teach them they sending them to where someone can! I get angry but not at teachers… They don’t understand what home schooling is about some teachers are bad but not most and they can’t be doing it for the money because it is really bad. They must care and want to help children! Just a thought. I can see that you very determined to get your point across but the best way to do it is through love and example not hate! We could go on and on debating this subject i just don’t think it is right to say all teachers are terrible. The reason I’m shocked is because i thought homeschoolers were different but it seems i might be wrong as we are judging others because they not doing what we are doing 🙁 it’s just sad…

  13. December 18, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Hi Sheri,

    It’s very hard to understand your point, it’s not well written at all. It is sad that anyone thinks teachers care about students. All teachers in public schools agree to use the tools of public schooling – tests, homework, grades, grading, classrooms and the rest – that are HIGHLY destructive of children. And they get paid very well for this, as more and more reports are demonstrating. It is just sad that people refuse to look at the truth. We are being robbed by people pretending to educate our children while they are, in fact, damaging them. the amount of abuse by teachers in schools is astronomical, per the Department of Education’s own reports. It is all very sad indeed. And the reason so many parents want their children to have a better chance than they did? The parents are products of public schooling. There’s a nasty cycle for you. All teachers are not terrible, but what they DO is, if they work in public schools. Hate the sin, even if you chose to love the sinner.

  14. sheri
    December 19, 2011 at 3:55 am

    Hi,
    what do you suggest for those poor parents that can not read and write? parents who cannot teach their children much of anything good? the children want to go to school to try become someone unlike their parents and often they will be given hope by a teacher who believed in them. teachers that work in the poorer public schools do not get paid much at all. so why are they there? why do they stay? i’m thinking of the really poor school’s where the children go…yes the education is not great but it’s not the teachers fault they gotta teach with what they have been given (which is not much).
    teachers might be abusing our children but there are far more parents that are abusing their own children. which is very very sad. we as parents are the best educators for our children but not when the parents are abusive.
    i do tests with my sons…does that mean i’m being destructive? it’s part of the curriculum that i use and without the structure and grading of the books that i use i’m not sure i would be handling homeschooling as well. i need to know and be sure that my kids are doing ok and learning enough.
    unfortunatly i’m not the greatest writer or the cleverest person so i hope you can try understand what i am trying to say this time.

  15. December 20, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Sheri,

    A parent who can’t read SHOULD LEARN. If a child can learn, an adult can, too.

    Teachers in poorer areas often get paid MORE than many teachers in other parts of school districts, due to their unions securing a sort of “hazard pay” for them. They are paid very well.

    It IS the teacher’s fault, teaching garbage. Why don’t they stand up for themselves and their students? Why do they accept a paycheck (something many people would like to have right now) for delivering garbage in lieu of education? They strike and shout often enough – for their own pay and rights. But not for kids.

    Per the Department of Education in a 2004 report, some 6-10% of ALL public school kids will be sexually abused by a teacher or public school staff member. I’m sorry, Sheri, but whatever is happening in homes, the numbers of abuses are FAR FAR smaller. Are you following the Penn State story in the news about a teacher’s sexual abuse of children. Now there are many more such stories showing up. I fear it will become an avalanche.

    Yes, testing is destructive…and you could always stop doing it, except for the sole purpose of determining what was and was not learned and then sending the student back to quickly restudy what he missed. For grading and evaluation, testing is destructive. So stop using it except as described.

    Your job as a teacher of your children does not include making less of them, grading them, diminishing them. It should be all about building them up, giving them many options, discovering what they love to do and then helping them have opportunities to do it. When they love a subject, let them go for it! But grades, testing, evaluations are all simply destructive when used any other way.

    I understood you better this time, thanks for writing.

  16. valmnz
    May 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I’m a ‘real’ teacher and I agree with you. Some people are natural teachers. All parents are teachers by default. These days teaching is more about facilitating, pointing kids in the right direction. Liked reading this.

  17. November 10, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    When I was 25 years old I wanted to start a business. My father would not offer support as I did not have a business degree. I chose to start that business and managed to make over 15 million dollars in a very short amount of time. I received much accolades from my father as a result.

    The timing of reading this post is brilliant. Just this week I pulled my grade school boys out of a private school and now have a few days of homeschooling under my belt. I have already heard, on many levels that I am not qualified to home-school as I do not have a college degree in education. I have five lovely children. I did not have a college degree with my first business yet, I have the ability to learn along with children in the same way I learned business. Thank you for this reminder of what it means to be a mother. I would much rather be known as mom that teacher. Mom carries such a high honor. Blessings Elizabeth.

    • November 11, 2012 at 7:24 am

      Speaking for Cindy, I’m sure she’s thrilled that her article has reached so many people, and been of assistance to them! And I can tell you for her and for me, we could not agree with you more. Love your approach to educating your children and yourself, and the “no prisoners” attitude toward life in general – even without that “all-important” degree. I NEVER went to college, not for a day – but I taught at many schools, including U.S.C. and U.C.L.A. We do what we do BECAUSE WE CAN, not because a piece of paper says that we’re qualified. Best of luck homeschooling! I hope you find the articles here of use!

  18. December 6, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Although I’ve held a Montessori qualification for many years, and taught 2 to 5 yr old’s in my Montessori school, I have only recently had the opportunity to gain a degree in Early Years. Did I enjoy all the research and discussions with fellow educators? Yes it was very enjoyable indeed. Did it make me a better teacher? No.

    • December 6, 2012 at 3:14 am

      Yes, I can see that discussing education and the ideas that drive it might be of interest. In the end, though – almost none of those ideas work, not in practiced. The results of “modern education” are too gruesome to be restated again in a brief response, and this and my o0ther blog are filled with such descriptions. Suffice to say, I’m certain you were not improved as a teacher in any marked way by a degree, given your long and established track record as an educator prior to getting the degree. So ignore what they taught you, and keep up the good work!

  19. May 22, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    “What I am is a mom” how can you top that? Love it! Noel:0)

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