I grew up in Mesa, Arizona in the 90s, and did not live in the best neighborhood. I went to a good Elementary School, and a mediocre Middle School. I was bullied for being poor and having a single mother. Kids are mean!
For those of you not familiar with Mesa, AZ, it can be described as the second Capital for the Mormon religion, outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. I was brought up in the church, but since I was not a part of the Latter Day Saints, I was told by some “friends” that they were surprised about how “good” I was, when I wasn’t even Mormon. One friend was not allowed to stay over at my slumber party because my mother divorced my (abusive) father. Another friend told me she was homesick, because our three-bedroom townhouse was too small for her to sleep. It is no wonder that I do not care much for status. I realized quite young that it makes people shallow.
In highschool, I was “cool by association”. My best friend, Anne, was a Cheerleader and although I was a Choir Geek, we had a friendship that was better than superficial cliques.
I went to Arizona State University to study Education and planned on becoming a History Teacher. However, I was turned off to Public Schooling’s approach to High Stakes Standardized Testing and lost interest during my internships. I went on to work at private schools, but also did not agree with the politics. Education is not a business, and should not be treated as such!
After the experiences I have accumulated in different school settings, and also a year as an Au Pair, I think Homeschooling is the best option. I understand a lot of people do not agree, and who has the time for that, right? In all honesty, I think it is something that needs to be considered more when deciding to bring life into the world. Parents need to be better planners, and take more personal responsibility for their children.
During my time as a Preschool/Kindergarten Teacher, I have had parents drop off their children first thing in the morning and pick them up at dinner time. No wonder their children have attachment issues! I have also had parents say that their child does not seem ready for Elementary School, and I when I ask them if they read or practice letters/numbers with their children at home, they tell me that is my job. There are too many unrealistic expectations placed on Teachers now-a-days.
In this video titled “Lessons from the longest study on human development” , Helen Pearson says that “Parents really matter.” My mother may have been single, and working multiple jobs to make ends meet, but she was “engaged and interested” in my success. She created an ambitious little girl, who she encouraged to accomplish her dreams. No matter how busy or tired she was, my mother read to me everyday.
When parents are invested in their children’s education on a personal level, then they don’t need to rely on some third person to teach their child. Some may argue that not everyone has the skills to teach, but that is the very core of parenting. You do not need to agree with me. Just consider the idea, and as I am doing, plan what your potential child’s life may look like if they had you as their Teacher.