Dear Public School Teachers,
As a homeschooling mom, I find myself often frowning down upon the public school system and everything that comes with it. I’m also pretty vocal about it at times and I’m sure I’ve offended at least one of you at one point or another. It’s not intentional, it’s just that sometimes when your really passionate about something, you tend to forget that what you’re saying can easily be misconceived. The truth is, I’m really not a fan of the public school system these days, but there’s one thing that I wanted to make clear today. I can’t speak on the behalf of all homeschooling parents, but I can personally say I am in no way against YOU!
In fact, I think you guys are straight up rock stars, and I often find myself wondering, “How do they do it?!”. This week was my first week “back to school” here at home and it was the most stressful and chaotic week I’ve had in a long time.
But here’s the real kicker – I have an advantage. I only have three kids to teach. MY kids. Kids that I know every single thing there is to know about. And then there’s you, sometimes with a room full of 20-30+ kids. Most of them you have never met in your entire life until that first day they show up in your classroom, and each and every one of them with their own unique learning abilities and individual quirks that makes each individual so special. You have the job of getting to know them and managing them all at the same time, five days a week, for the rest of the year. It’s your job to figure out those quirks and what makes their little brains tick.
You have to keep them entertained, engaged, happy, and hopeful for their futures all while trying to maintain your own sanity in the process. You’re expected to cram as much knowledge as you can fit into their little brains, all while using standards and curriculum you may not even agree with, or possibly feel limited by.
You show up early in the morning and you stay late into the evening. You use your own money to decorate and fill your classrooms with the tools to help other peoples children succeed. And don’t even get me started on the grading and record keeping! I can’t even fathom the countless hours you spend grading papers and recording grades, copying worksheets, working on lesson plans, so on and so forth. I don’t even have to keep track of grades for my kids yet and I’m already overwhelmed some days with all of the record keeping. Yet you do this for 10x more children than I do. And still you press on, day after day, year after year.
You build relationships with your students and grow so close to some of them. You cry when they hurt or fall short, and rejoice and laugh with them when they are happy and succeed. You become a big piece of each others lives in only that single year you have to spend together, and then one day before you realize it, it’s all over – because summer break arrives in the blink of an eye.
Then the next year you start all over again with an entirely new group of students and begin the process all over again.
So today I am writing this open letter to you to let you know, I am in no way against YOU. I’m on your side. I get it. I feel those same heartaches and joys, stresses and excitement with my own three children. We’re very similar, you and I. You’re just dealing with a lot more kids at one time than I am, kids who aren’t even your own. I can’t imagine doing everything that I do on such a large scale like you do every day.
So, kudos to you teachers! This homeschooling mom has a ton of respect for you, and I applaud you for the work you do! My disdain for the public school system, and my decision to homeschool is in no way a direct reflection of YOU! I admire you all more than you know. You. Are. Rock. Stars!
A Homeschooling Mom