Thanks to Sunniemom for linking this post in her blog. "Elsie Deluxe" claims to have been a teacher in school and a homeschool mom as well. She states that she feels the two jobs are only just barely similar and that the two groups (teachers and h-s parents) misunderstand one another because they perceive their jobs as being alike when they really aren't. That's actually an excellent point. She goes on to say that teachers should respect that homeschoolers don't need certification because they know their children and don't need to manage a class of differing learners, etc. etc. But on the other side, "it seems that some homeschooling parents believe that because they deeply understand that they don't need a credential to teach their kids, the credential must be worthless.
Teachers really do know some things about teaching that parents who teach their kids at home don't know. Because they have to. It's completely different work."
Ok, I'm tempted to get completely snarky and say, yeah, they need to know the proper way to do things like showing the kids how to navigate from one class to the next in four minutes when literally 568 others are trying to do the same thing, or how to discuss oral sex with a class of 30 children "professionally." Or demonstrate to them what to do when their best friends start smoking pot. I'm tempted. But she *does* have a point that managing children whose behaviour probably leaves much to be desired is something for which a little extra training may be helpful. She glosses over this in the comment section, implying she didn't want to fully address it so that homeschoolers don't have a bashing point.
Teachers have a hard job in this respect, and I can't say I'd bash them for failure to "control" students when their disciplinary measures are extremely limited. I think homeschoolers and public school educators do have a common interest in some sort of law and order in the classroom, because we all know public education isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Like it or not, the children who sit in public school classrooms today will make up the majority of voting adults tomorrow. We have an interest in lobbying for good classroom discipline...
And I can't say that "dealing with pompous administrators" would be something I'd be prepared to do as well as a teacher, either. Maybe some training needed for that, too. I'm sure a lot of parents can be extremely "challenging." And maybe a little off-topic, but I feel I need to insert here that I respect the fact that public school teachers work.
And they work HARD, folks.
I know some in "real life," too. You'd be surprised at how many have taken me aside and told me that they would really prefer to be at home with their own children, educating them.
I've also seen others make snide little comments about how they're "certified" and so they are able to handle the "whatever" we're talking about just then. And you know very well that that person's comment is meant to say in a backhanded way, "And you CAN'T handle these things, homeschool mom, because you're not certified and special and intelligent like meeeee..."
Give it a rest.
I suppose more telling than the blog post itself were some of the comments. "In general I see anti-credentialism (is that a word?) as a more socially acceptable form of anti-intellectualism." This intelligentsia-type person needs to be thwacked on the head with my little Communist Red Book. (Just kidding! But I had to say it! Does this guy really think I'm part of some new Cultural Revolution?)
Another writes that, "posts like this one make me think that politically homeschoolers need to be able to work with teachers' unions rather than assume they are the enemy. If we understood each other better, we could work together to fight some of the political decisions that are really causing problems." And while we're at it, Christians should make nice with those lions in the coliseum. They might not want Christianity to be an option, but it's nothing personal. The unions are just hungry for ALL the power and ALL the children. They want the arena to themselves, but if we just understood each other better, everything would be all right-y.
Wow. Maybe I'm not understanding the full tone and context of the commenters. I surely hope that I am not, because if folks in public education really think this way for the most part we're in big trouble.