Is love too much to ask for from a teacher?

I am working on filling out my kindergartener’s environmental form for next year’s teacher, and I sent her current teacher a note looking for any suggestions.

You can’t request a specific teacher but you can say in what type of environment your child would learn best.

This is what I quickly wrote to her:

“I am filling out Lilina’s environmental form for next year and wondered if you had suggestions for it . …My main thing is she is social, happy child. She loves to learn and I don’t want her beaten down. I think she needs some structure but is creative. And she needs lots of love…. Let me know what you think if you get the chance??”

So essentially I am looking for a teacher who loves to teach, is excited for her students to learn and loves her students. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

Now Lilina is only going into the first grade but I think love is essential for all grades. Obviously you want a teacher who knows their subject but if all teachers come from a place of love isn’t that best for the students?

I know that I love my university students. I want them to succeed, and I will do whatever I can to help them. I let them text me, email me and even call when they need help. My husband thinks I’m crazy but if they’ve tried to figure it out then I don’t mind them calling for help.

If I see them struggling, I call meetings with them to discuss what’s going on.

A few weeks back I sat with a student and went through every story she had turned in during the semester to help her understand that she was making the same writing mistakes over and over again.

I put notes on their work telling them how far they have come in their writing and how proud I am of them.

At the end of the semester, I feel like a mother bird launching them off into the world hoping I taught them everything they need to know to fly.

I want my kids’ teachers to feel that same way. I want for them to worry and care that my children succeed and to give them love just like I do for my university students.

Does love matter in the classroom? Is it too much to ask from our teachers? Should they not be teaching if they don’t love their students? What traits are you looking for in next year’s teacher?

50 comments Add your comment

jarvis

May 2nd, 2013
6:38 am

Depends on the kid.

My daughter has a friend that is already a no-nonsense go-getter in the 3rd Grade. She told her mom before last year that she didn’t want a “hugger”. She wanted a serious teacher.

lakerat

May 2nd, 2013
7:07 am

When we moved from DeKalb County to Forsyth County 19 years ago my son was a first grader who he had been “beaten down” by both his kindergarten teacher (who was deaf and could not really communicate with 5 year olds), and by one of his first grade teachers who discriminated against him because he was one of only 5 white children in her classroom (yes, she was black, and yes, we could prove she was discriminating, which is why we moved in the middle of the year – by the way, she was a first year teacher and his 3rd teacher at that same school in the 5 months he was in the first grade in DeKalb).

When we moved we were introducing him to his new first grade teacher – he was about to lose it emotionally when the teacher took him in her arms and gave him a big ‘ol hug. She was also a first year teacher but she knew what to do and when (touching a kid in DeKalb County would have gotten the teacher fired, but discrimination was OK). Needless to say, my son thrived in the new environment! The next year he had another first year teacher who was not nearly as good as the first grade teacher, but you roll with the punches.

So, all is well that ends well…

lakerat

May 2nd, 2013
7:09 am

Also, do not know if she is still teaching (I kind of doubt it) but thank you Ms. Shaddy!!!!!

motherjanegoose

May 2nd, 2013
7:10 am

I have loved most every day of my teaching career and I am closing in on 30 years. I have also loved and cared for thousands of little children. My two have been lucky to have had loving and caring teachers and for that, our family is blessed.

Not all teachers love what they do and many are leaving the profession, to retire. This is due to all the things they enjoyed doing but now their hands are tied. Also due to the types of unruly children they are seeing and that there is not too much they can do with them. A sad situation for sure. I see them in Kindergarten and think they have a long road ahead of them!

Off topic but this is a Dad who truly loves his daughter and I wanted to share it today and thank those Dads out there who express love in tangible ways every day:
http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/military-dad-makes-daughter-s-prom-dress–it-s-camo-191228290.html

catlady

May 2nd, 2013
7:12 am

While I don’t love most of my students, I APPRECIATE them, I ENJOY them, I ADVOCATE FOR AND WITH them.

bgb

May 2nd, 2013
7:21 am

“I am working on in filling out my kindergartener’s…”
- first waldo

cgatlanta

May 2nd, 2013
7:27 am

It’s odd, but what you sent the teacher is not what you explained as the intent. Why not send the teacher your exact wishes? You never say you want a teacher that loves their job, but that is your main objective.

Also, useing “beaten down” is a little much. No teacher will identify with this description. You could ask for unstuctured vs structured for example. Two little examples do how you may be setting yourself up,for failure.

cgatlanta

May 2nd, 2013
7:28 am

Useing-using. Sorry for the typo

LeeH1

May 2nd, 2013
7:57 am

Uh, what world are you from? Teachers are paid to teach. They aren’t paid enough to also love your children as well. The school system has overcrowded classes in order to save money, so love is pretty far down the road when taxes are concerned. A teacher who overly hugs children today is probably going to get arrested for molestation. A teacher who inevitably loves one child over another is going to get fired for discrimination.

Teachers who teach because they love their students have their own agendas and should think about leaving the paid profession and volunteering instead.

Teachers are paid to teach. They are paid to teach reading, writing and arithmetic, and other necessary academic disciplines. Love is nice, but they are paid to teach, and they are treated as employees. A teach who strongly loves her or his students but doesn’t teach very well is a poor teacher, not a good one. An excellent teacher who does not involve themselves in the lives of their students is a better teacher.

Tax payers today hate overpaid teachers who unionize and demand facilities which help teaching. Teachers who love their students are not something that people necessarily want, unless it leads to lower pay and more administrative control.

Techmom

May 2nd, 2013
8:05 am

I’m not quite sure I would have written “beaten down” either. What exactly does that mean (it conjures up images of a slave master beating his slave… I sure hope there aren’t any teachers out there like that.)

Perhaps you should describe the teacher’s qualities in terms like: encouraging & willing to embrace each child’s differences. But then again, I can’t imagine that any first grade teacher is going to be described as someone who isn’t those things. Aren’t those generally qualities that every parent wants their kid’s first grade teacher to have? Are there teachers who would admit they don’t possess those qualities?

By the way, do you think 30 years ago, any parent would request a “loving” teacher for their kid? It was definitely just the luck of the draw who you got!

And no where but the south have I ever gotten a hug from a teacher. TWG- do your kids’ teachers hug them?

Me

May 2nd, 2013
8:14 am

I honestly think there is a gap or difference between “loving” and “caring” — I highly doubt any of my teachers ever “loved” me but, yes, they cared deeply and wanted me to succeed. I certainly never cared if the teachers of my children ever “loved” them but I wanted teachers who cared enough to help where it was needed. I also think you can care “too much” as somewhat evidenced by allowing your students to contact you by any means so, in that regard, I agree with your husband.

RJ

May 2nd, 2013
9:07 am

Love is entirely too much to ask, however caring is spot on. Caring about student’s learning. That’s it. I teach more than 600 kids a week, sorry, but I can’t love them, but I do advocate for them. Tried to this morning with my principal. I’ve literally been told to just stop caring so much. Do my job and go home to my family because I can’t change anything. I didn’t get into this for just a paycheck. I actually care about the kids I teach. I care about what I do. Caring is crucial, because when it’s gone, you end up with a school like mine.

SJ

May 2nd, 2013
9:19 am

The advice that I got was to request a “nurturing” teacher for my child. My oldest does need lots of encouragement and a supportive, caring teacher. Thus the “nurturing” buzz-word. My youngest could handle someone a little more no-nonsense and brisk.

Jaynie

May 2nd, 2013
9:32 am

I think love might be the wrong word when applied to each child. However, a teacher should love their job and care about their students deeply. My oldest grandson had the perfect pre-K and kindergarten teachers, but his first grade teacher was just awful. She labeled him as a slow learner the first week of school. He is in 8th grade now and has made all A’s and B’s since getting out of that particular teacher’s class room. In that instance, the teacher would probalby have been OK with much older kids, but she sure did not have the patience to deal with little ones. My grandson was not the only child who got this kind of treatment from that particular teacher. She had many complaints from other parents and moved on to the 5th grade the next year. Teaching is a hard, hard job and I don’t expect every teacher to like every kid, but they should be as fair as they can be and should love thier jobs or they should not teach. Parents need to be fair to the teacher as well. Parents need to understand that some days are better than others for both the teacher and the child. If a pattern is established where the child is made to feell miserable everyday, then the parents need to take action.

motherjanegoose

May 2nd, 2013
10:05 am

TWG…perhaps you could say this: My daughter currently loves school and believes learning is so much fun. I am hopeful that she can keep that zeal all the way through her elementary school years as being excited about learning is very important to our family. Her creativity has drawn her to new concepts and ideas and she is an eager participant. A teacher who directs her enthusiasm and passion for learning would be a wonderful thing.

I have loved lots of little children. There are obviously some I did not care for but that comes with the mix and you take what you get. There are always children who break my heart and this is mostly due to the parents who are not IMHO caring for them properly.

At the end of the semester, I feel like a mother bird launching them off into the world hoping I taught them everything they need to know to fly.

May 2nd, 2013
10:23 am

Your husband may be on to something…

And thanks to the blog editors for allowing misspelled words to now be corrected…

catlady

May 2nd, 2013
10:27 am

MJG has written an excellent way to frame your request, Theresa.

Once Again

May 2nd, 2013
10:54 am

The environment she will learn best in is your house with you homeschooling her – period. Stop begging the government to provide a learning environment that makes every parent happy – it can’t and it won’t ever try to. Even the schools acknowledge that the parents know best how their children should learn (thus the questionaire). Why can’t parents figure that out and do the right thing?

Techmom

May 2nd, 2013
11:22 am

@Once Again – Why can’t people figure out that one answer to education is going to solve everyone’s problem?

I wholeheartedly believe that kids don’t always do best in a one-size-fits-all public education classroom, but to ONLY promote homeschooling is narrow-minded. Not every kid or parent is cut out to be homeschooled. I see the benefit for some kids and I have seen some kids lose a year doing nothing b/c neither they nor the parent really understood the effort it takes to successfully home school.

Techmom

May 2nd, 2013
11:22 am

**isn’t… there isn’t one answer

motherjanegoose

May 2nd, 2013
11:30 am

@catlady…some days I am able to put thoughts into writing better than others…thanks!
Some days, I cannot even find the correct keys on the keyboard…haha!

Grasshopper

May 2nd, 2013
11:47 am

“So essentially I am looking for a teacher who loves to teach, is excited for her students to learn and loves her students. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.”

You don’t think every parent wants that for their kid? You have to put that in a stupid letter to the teacher now?

This whole post and some of the comments illustrate one of the problems with our current educational system; many parents are more concerned with thoughts and feelings of their kids rather than their actual education.

A good teacher does not need to ‘love’ any student. They need to know how to teach them and be concerned about their comprehension.

Do you think the bus driver should ‘love’ your kid? Or is their driving ability of more concern?

Do you think a waiter should love you? Or is there efficiency at service more important?

I don’t care if you ‘love’ me Theresa. I just want an interesting and intelligent post.

jarvis

May 2nd, 2013
11:49 am

Amanda Bynes is going to kill herself if she doesn’t get some help.

catlady

May 2nd, 2013
11:50 am

Aw, Grasshopper, go rub your legs together somewhere else!

catlady

May 2nd, 2013
11:56 am

Perhaps we should talk about the idea that a parent should have input into a child’s subsequent teachers. In the past, in my area, parents were allowed to request a specific teacher. That did not work very well, and I believe it has been discontinued. Teachers are allowed to have input in so far as keeping troublemakers separated and grouping by achievement in some places.

I never asked for a special teacher for any of my children but one time. I knew (had taught with) a teacher whose interests would be stimulating for my younger daughter. I went to the principal and said, “I have never made a request in all these years but I am making one now.” She was put in the class, and all I heard before school started was how I had ruined her life! She had been ripped from her group of friends and placed in a different “pod.” Oh, the pain! The horror!

That lasted till the second day of school. Then she came home and said, “Okay. Now I understand why you wanted me in Mr. X’s room.” And, of course, it was wonderful.

Mayhem

May 2nd, 2013
12:09 pm

@once again – who’s going to put food on the table if I quit my job to homeschool? Who’s going to pay the bills, the mortgage, the car payments?

FYI – my kids are in their 20’s, received a very nice government education, and have been to college. My oldest graduated college, and my two youngest are in college part time, and working full time jobs.

Not every has that ability….both hubby and I work full time now, and have worked full time jobs so we can enjoy our lives and give our kids what they needed. We’ve managed to save a good bit of money, but that would not have been possible had I quit my nice paying job, with excellent benefits (100% paid insurance for the entire family). Again, not everyone WANTS to homeschool their kids. I sure didn’t.

And I think my kids are better off for being in public schools. They have learned how to handle/fight their own battles.

motherjanegoose

May 2nd, 2013
12:16 pm

Never had the desire to homeschool. I have taught thousands of teachers and children too.
My two also both went through public school. Son is getting his Doctorate next week and Daughter will be a Senior at UGA Terry. They learned a lot about working with different kinds of people and this skill has served them well.

@catlady, I too ONE TIME requested a teacher. My son had her in 3rd grade and then I asked for my daughter to have her. We are still in touch. What if a parent requests you and you do not want their child? I never dealt with it but it could happen!

catlady

May 2nd, 2013
12:44 pm

MJG, when I have been in schools big enough that there was more than one teacher in a grade, we just drew names to determine our new class. If there was a bad prior association, we asked to change. I can remember doing that once or twice in those 15 years.

I had a parent request to move her child from my room once. It wasn’t me, it was that I was teaching the second from the top group and she wanted her child in the top group, the HoityToity group. Mom wanted daughter in with the in crowd. Did not hurt my feelings, but her daughter suffered as she was not up to the challenge of keeping up with the others, and therefore it did not have the social climbing boost mama wanted; perhaps it even worked to the child’s detriment.

Every teacher my children have had has been a learning experience, whether that teacher is the one I would have picked or not. They needed exposure to lots of different kinds of people. Some I agreed with, and some I did not, but my children were not hothouse flowers that would wilt if they had a teacher whose mannerisms were not what they were used to.

LaJoy

May 2nd, 2013
2:48 pm

I agree with catlady. I have two children (one now in college and doing very well, other in middle school). I have found that childern need to learn that not every situation is ideal and that they can thrive and suceed even when things are not perfect. My children have each had teachers they have liked, some they have not liked at all and everything in between. However, life requires you to deal with people you like, don’t like and everything in between. I’m not advocating allowing poor teachers to stay in the classroom, I am saying though that a child learning to cope in varying situations is actually good for them. I don’t think for a second that either having all perfect teachers or my homeschooling them could ever have given them the skills to succeed like learning to just sometimes “deal with it’.

HB

May 2nd, 2013
4:45 pm

Ok, so what I’m getting from this is you want your kids to have a teacher like you. Please try to take yourself out of the equation, step back, and look at your child’s specific needs and traits and what environment best suits her. Don’t make it about the teacher’s lovey-doveyness — make it about the type of classroom environment the teacher provides. How much/what kind of structure works best for her? Does she do best with a lot of direction or is more free exploration time important? Is she stronger in certain areas than others (some teachers may be especially good at helping kids with specific weaknesses or nurturing interests in kids with certain strengths)? In what kind of environment does she seem to thrive?

Yes, asking for love or any other emotion is asking too much. Even asking for someone who loves teaching is too vague (every parent wants a teacher who has a passion for teaching – duh!). I’ve taught in the past, loved the work and the kids, but if I had a mom focusing on the importance of my loving her child that I haven’t met yet and fears that her zest for learning will be beaten down if I don’t love her enough, my first impression would be that that mom will likely be a major PITA.

Teach

May 2nd, 2013
5:27 pm

Love?

Respect first…then maybe love. You may hate me, but you will respect me.

All this touchy creampuff stuff going around the education and mommy blogs this week. You are here to learn and I am here to teach. Gain and earn respect in here..get love from your mommy.

I teach high school. I touch a kid, boom! Im gone.

Ann

May 2nd, 2013
6:15 pm

@ LeeH1 – I’m a taxpayer and I certainly don’t think any teacher is overpaid. I can’t imagine other taxpayers thinking elementary, middle or high school teachers are overpaid. I believe it is the general perception of the public that teachers have a difficult job and, compared to other professions, are underpaid. Who are these taxpayers that you are talking about?

Ann

May 2nd, 2013
6:24 pm

I think I understand exactly what Theresa means by “beaten down” – squashing the child’s love of learning. And, I think the phase gives a vivid picture that teachers will understand. One of the problems currently with the school structure is that kids enter kindergarten and first grade with a love of learning and enthusiasm and they are “internally motivated” to learn; but the style and structure of their school environment slowly takes that away. Grades and other external performance measures replace internal motivators. And, other aspects of the school structure don’t allow much room for creativity and exploration outside of “what’s on the test”.

If you can manage to “preserve” the enthusiasm and love of learning kids have to begin with and foster that, then they will be “well served” and “well prepared” for lifelong learning. To succeed throughout all stages of life, we need to enthusiastically tackle subjects as the need arises.

Obvious

May 2nd, 2013
8:38 pm

Of course your child wants someone like you – so give them that. Homeschool. It is YOUR responsibility to educate them, not the government’s. Justification after justification won’t change the reality that children should be raised by their parents, not government bureaucrats, not private school teachers (but at least you have financial power in those decisions), and not the immature classmates they are forced to be around for 6-8 hours of the day. They need real guidance, and you can put down all the requests you want, but the government has stolen your money, won’t give it back, and certainly won’t give you a refund when your child gets a worthless education.

MamaS

May 2nd, 2013
9:04 pm

“Love” is what good parents give their children.
“Fairness”, “respect” and an “ability to share their knowledge of the subject” is what good teachers offer their students.
I understand :beaten down”. It is a child who loves to read and wants to read everything she can find about animals. BUT, she has already read all the AR books on her level about animals and now MUST read about trucks and trains because they are all that are left on her AR level and reading above your level is NOT ALLOWED. So, she chooses not to read anymore. The system beat her down.
(And yes, I go to the public library and she checks out the books she wants to read, but she can’t take AR tests on those. She MUST take AR tests on the books from school — whether they are interesting to her or not.)

Ann

May 2nd, 2013
9:08 pm

It puzzles me that some people believe that, just because you homeschool, your child is not learning how to work with different kinds of people or how to handle their own battles. What you are referring to is more of a “parenting philosophy” or a style of raising your child rather than the learning setting itself. One of the frequent complaints you hear about these days is that too many parents are stepping in to solve their child’s troubles at school, rather than letting the child cope with it on their own. We see this type of helicopter parenting in the news just about every day. You can have both ends of this parenting spectrum within the public school or the homeschool community.

While there are certainly some homeschooling families whose children are more sheltered, there are many of us who are homeschooling because we like the “freedom” to explore the community and the world around us, as part of our learning, on a weekly or daily basis. We are not isolated from public school children and the “melting pot” that entails. My 8 year old spends more than a dozen hours a week with public and private schooled children, when you factor in all the extracurricular community activities and playground hours. We volunteer in the community every month where we are around people of all walks of life. My son also helps an elderly neighbor every day with a task and he handles this totally independently. Because we are not tied down with school homework, we spend a lot more time at our city playground where he seeks out whatever children happen to be there that day and sorts out problems that arise.

We are involved with a secular homeschool group (there are quite a few around Atlanta) and there are families that attend our weekly gatherings from all areas of metro Atlanta, many income levels, cultures, ethnicities, languages. Having gone through public school myself, I agree that you do get exposed to all types of people. However, I also see that, in recent years, fewer children are riding the school bus, recess has vanished or diminished, and there is very little “free time” during the school day in which kids can interact with others. I have nieces and nephews in high school in recent years, and, for the most part, they hang out with friends who are somewhat like them, with similar interests. The lacrosse students hang out with other lacrosse players, the cheerleaders with other cheerleaders, etc.

For the most part, in school, you are segregated into your peer group by “age” and sometimes academic ability. Occasionally, you may work on a project with children who are “different” from you. Depending on your style of homeschooling, your child may actually have a lot more exposure to a variety of people and situations. My son is exposed daily to people within a wide range of ages, from toddlers to 90 year olds and people who have wide interests and skills. He is being raised to be independent and to “deal with it”. These things are not just the “province” of public school settings.

Grasshopper

May 2nd, 2013
9:31 pm

Home schooled kids are weird; every one that I have ever known has been at least.

But if you read the rambling, incoherent and judgmental posts of their parents, you understand where they get it from.

Ann

May 2nd, 2013
10:22 pm

@ Grasshopper – I didn’t judge anyone in my post. I expressed puzzlement that some people believe that a homeschooled child cannot be independent and are not exposed to a variety of people. If all the homeschooled children you know are weird, that says more about the company you keep or the “circles” you traverse. It’s interesting that someone who describes another post as judgmental uses the terms weird, rambling and incoherent to describe others. I simply talked about our experience and how it compared to my public school experience. There is not a single sentence in my post critical of non homeschooled parents, other than that, sometimes, they do not understand what some homeschooled families are doing with their time.

Ann

May 2nd, 2013
10:57 pm

@ Grasshopper – If all homeschooled kids are weird, I guess we are in good company. To name a few, let’s see – 14 U.S. presidents, 4 U.S. Supreme Court judges, the Wright Brothers, Albert Einstein, Irving Berlin, Frank Lloyd Wright, George Patton, William Blake, Claude Monet, C.S. Lewis, Mark Twain, Hans Christian Anderson, Alexander Graham Bell, John & Charles Wesley, Joseph Pulitzer, Andrew Carnegie, Pierre Curie, Booker T. Washington, Guglielmo Marconi, George Bernard Shaw, Louis Armstrong, Ansel Adams, John James Audubon, and the founders of Honda, Bank of America, McDonalds, Wendy’s, KFC, and the New York Times, and hundred of other famous homeschoolers at the very top of their fields. All “weirdos”, of course, according to Grasshopper.

Paige

May 2nd, 2013
11:10 pm

Seriously? Love? How about care, protect, and teach. You love your children, not your teachers.

Grasshopper

May 2nd, 2013
11:34 pm

Ann, you are not the only one who preached the joys of home-schooling on this blog (there are plenty of judgmental posts preceding yours) and my post was certainly not all about you. I guess narcissism could be a trait of home schooling parents too.

Regarding your lovely list, I’ve never met any of those people but I would be willing to bet that many of them were weird kids. I’m not saying that weird kids can never be successful (there obviously have been) or grow out of their weirdness.

And considering the lack of public schools in the centuries that many of your examples lived in, home schooling was probably the only option for many of them. Just imagine the untold delights the founder of McDonalds could have dreamt up for us had he a formal education.

Ann

May 2nd, 2013
11:55 pm

@ Grasshopper – I’d like to know your definition of weirdness – does it mean “different from you”? I wonder what you were like as a kid. There are many paths in life and many paths to education, all with pros and cons. Taking a different path in life does not equal weirdness. My hope for my child, and any child, is that they can follow their unique true self or path in life. Most major employers say that the best future jobs will require innovative and creative thinkers. We will need problem solvers, people who can think “out of the box”. That is the kind of person that will one day find a cure for cancer. Quite a few medical innovations have often been viewed as “wacky” or “weird” only to be accepted a few decades later by the mainstream.

Not sure what you mean by the “lack of public schools in the centuries …” Compulsory schooling was around in the U.S. as far back as the 1600’s in the early colonies. There were tons of schools in the Northeastern U.S. Formal education and schooling was readily available during the time period of most everyone on the list I gave. In fact, the majority of the people on the list had access to both public and the very best private schools in their communities. They had options of homeschooling or formal schooling. Their stories and biographies are well documented, including their reasons for homeschooling.

I don’t think you are being honest with the “narcissism” comment. Right after I wrote an earlier lengthy post, you immediately comment about the “rambling…. homeschooling…post” criticizing it. Then, when I respond to your comment, you actually say I’m being narcissistic to assume your comment was about my post. What a way to twist it around to keep criticizing homeschoolers.

Once Again

May 3rd, 2013
7:56 am

Let’s not forget, Klebold, Harris, and virtually all of the school shooters/killers of the past several decades have not only been schooled in government schools but have committed their crimes at government “gun free zone” schools. Everyone is an individual. Everyone needs to be treated as one. That is completely the opposite of the purpose of government schools, which were set up and are run in a fashion to diminish the individual qualities of each child and reinforce conformity and obedience.

Maybe the “wierdness” of these homeschooled children is more about their individuality and their lack of blind obedience and conformity than it is about them being aberrant or whatever is justifying the use of the term “wierd.” Bottom line is that the future of our society will depend on the creative and innovative thinking of individuals and today that environment can only be fostered (though it certainly is not in every case) in the home situation or a creative and open private school circumstance.

Once Again

May 3rd, 2013
7:57 am

Realized after I hit “post” that I had spelled the word weird incorrectly all through my post.

Ann

May 3rd, 2013
9:55 am

@ Once Again – You said very well my exact thoughts. What does it matter that a child is different, eccentric, quirky, or whatever label someone wants to assign to them? I am grateful that my Georgia Mom raised me to be independent, to think for myself, trust my instincts and to pursue my hobbies regardless of whether they were “typical” for a girl in the 60’s and 70’s. If I were a teacher, I would love to have some of these kids in my class.

What a boring world it would be if everyone had to conform to be like everyone else. There is so much conformity being pushed (through marketing and other ways) at kids these days. Just go into the girls’ clothing section or the toy area to see how much stuff is “pink” and “princess themed”.

Can’t we celebrate kids’ unique contributions? So many founders of companies achieved their goals and success because they were not “conformists”, whether it was a different early “schooling” path or a different post high school path (that did not involve the typical college route). They had new ideas, a vision and carved their own way in life. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Richard Branson are a few recent ones that immediately come to mind.

Grasshopper

May 3rd, 2013
10:59 am

Ann, my definition of weird is the common one; strange acting and somewhat anti-social. That’s how I describe the ones I’ve known.

I’ll cede your point about public education availablity. Perhaps I spoke out of turn on a subject that I am really not familiar with. I was relating to the difficulties my Depression-era parents had to overcome to receive educations in the rural South and Midwest.

Sorry, but I do think that some posts on the home-schooling subject are rambling.

And some are judgmental; Once Again and Homeschool are perfect examples of that.

Grasshopper

May 3rd, 2013
11:13 am

‘Homeschool’ should have been ‘Obvious’ above.

Ann

May 3rd, 2013
4:30 pm

@ Grasshopper – Maybe one day you will meet a child like my son, then, who is way more social than either of his parents (products of public schools in the South and Northeast). My son has a very, outgoing, positive personality and is well-liked by his friends and sports teammates and activity classmates, which include kids from all kinds of school settings. He makes new friends easily at the playground, as he is always recruiting kids to play.

I have found that in most of his activities at the city rec dept., there are usually at least 2 to 4 homeschoolers in any group of 15 or 20 kids. If a stranger walked up and observed the social interactions at these activities, I swear they would not be able to pick out which ones were homeschooled and which ones are not. The kids in our neighborhood mix well and play together weekly.

Of course, there are some anti-social kids among homeschoolers, just as there are plenty in public and private schools, too. I recall quite a few from my school days. Whether you are social or not is often a factor of your personality. I think that in past decades and in some rural areas, homeschoolers may have been more isolated; in the Metro Atlanta area, many are highly involved in various social groups and community activities. Several teenagers in our area volunteer as tour guides at the historic houses, which certainly require social skills.

I have found that sometimes when I notice a homeschooled child who is less social that frequently it is due to the child having a disability. The other blog topic for today about the kids who spent 2 hours praying in the coach’s office certainly demonstrates there are kids who are “different” within the school setting, too.

beth

May 4th, 2013
11:11 am

I think nurturing is a better word than “love”.
I’m pretty sure I totally messed up my daughter’s form. She has dyslexia and is in the gifted program so I have a bit of a catch 22. I was trying to say that I wanted someone with alot of patience because I didn’t want her to be labeled a “slow learner” but at the same time I want a teacher that will challenge her in the way that a highly intelligent child should be challenged… but understand that she may have right answers that are spelled completely wrong or amazing stories with equally amazing bad grammer. In the end, I think I mostly babbled trying to explain the dichotomy of my my dyslexic gifted learner. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for the best!

DB

May 4th, 2013
10:30 pm

You can’t demand love. And while you hope that you have a teacher who loves their job, I don’t think it’s necessary for a teacher to “love” a child in their care. Given a choice between a well-meaning teacher who “loved” my child but can’t manage a classroom long enough to get information across or a teacher whose caring came out in trying to find the best way to get my child excited about learning — guess which one I pick?

A teacher doesn’t have to “love” my child — that’s what their family is for. What I want out of a teacher is a passion for teaching, for bringing out the best in a child, and a genuine enthusiasm for their subject. The ability to connect with their students doesn’t require love. I didn’t expect my kids to “love” every teacher, and I sure didn’t expect all the teachers to love my kids.