The act of education is very personal, so try not to shoot the messenger, who may be your child’s teacher. A post inspired by a blogger called Self Proclaimed Super Mom
Today, while surfing the net I ran across this post by blogger Self Proclaimed Super Mom http://selfproclaimedsupermom.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/03/index.html and happened upon her post on teachers. In her post entitled Teacher Said WHAAAAAT?, this blogger argues that it is not the job of the parent to teach her daughter Math times tables, (the subject her daughter is interested in learning), but the negligent job of her daughter’s teacher.
The blog post then listed several comments that bashed the teacher. One comment even said: “What are you paying her for?” Personally, I find this attitude to be very sad, aggressive, and ignorant towards teaching and learning. There are a lot of different issues I could talk about here. I could mention overworked parents, or overworked teachers. I could mention the overstretched curriculum or limited classroom resources. Perhaps even consider learning difficulties or personal conflicts that can disrupt the learning process. However, I don’t want to use my post to discuss those issues. Instead I want to emphasize something deeper that has more to do with human nature than traditional schooling.
Education can provide curriculum and instruction, teaching, and learning support. However, education is a two way street. Teachers can only give so much and it is up to you the student to actualize on your own learning potential. Teachers can mentor, encourage, and enlighten. However, they can’t provide personal drive and maintain an individual passion in learning or knowledge. Some learning is self taught. Often then best things we learn in life are facilitated though another.
Moreover, most teachers are with us for a short time. They may be there through the academic year or touch base thought a semester course. When the institutional learning is over, where does that leave us? More educated? Wiser, more evolved? Probably. But it is up the individual to continue the quest for learning to insure this new knowledge deepens.
Teachers, introduce curriculum and intellectual ideas but it is up to the student to decipher the knowledge and profit from it. We all interoperate learning differently. Some learning is technical, others philosophical, emotional, or ephemeral. Some learning happens instantly. Others comes to be understood years later.
In some cases, the best knowledge is self-realized or self-taught. On a personal level, I have four University degrees but one of my greatest passions is photography in which I have been largely self-taught. Despite my appreciation for academia I learned photography a through the process of trial and error, networking, and familiarity with new technology. There is not right or wrong way to learn something.
In addition, we can learn from our mistakes and from the mistakes of others. People need to realize that teachers do their job primarily to help people and should not feel intimidated or condescending around them. Most likely, the blog writer I mentioned is uneducated and feels threatened by educators. A common attitude felt by many who have rejected traditional schooling.
Perhaps her child is not happy with her learning environment. Perhaps the child just wants more attention from her teacher and mother. The mother should learn to work together with her child’s teacher and not engage in petty attacks. A shift in attitude would demonstrate a more respect for teaching, learning, and ultimately her daughter’s education.