Tuesday, March 1, 2011


When I was making my decision to go to a public school, I was very curious as to what I'd think about the teachers there. I'd only experienced teachers online (through Lone Pine Classical School and Homeschool Connections) and for my driver's education. These two experiences were like night and day. My online teachers were very accomplished and challenging, while my driver's ed teacher... well... not so much.

Now that I'm more than halfway through the school year, I can say for sure that the teachers are my favorite part of this whole experience. So far, I've been very fortunate, because all my teachers are awesome (coming from me, that's saying something). I may not agree with them on all their methods of teaching, but for the most part I believe they're doing the best they can with the kids they have.

Now I can't be entirely sure on this point (it's not like I've taken a survey), but I've observed that a lot of kids don't really appreciate their teachers. I don't get this. In my mind, teachers are people to treat with respect and to learn from, not people who are out to get you and make your life miserable. Granted, there are a lot of bad teachers out there, but so far I haven't encountered one at the public school.

All my previous years of being homeschooled is what is reinforcing this idea of teachers being valuable resources. I had to be my own teacher for the most part throughout high school. It wasn't an easy thing and it took discipline, sometimes discipline I didn't have. It was a struggle to schedule my time. Now that I have teachers for all my subjects, I really can appreciate them and what they do. I know the difference.

Now I'm not saying a lack of teachers in an education is bad; it has its own positive aspects. One of them is that it helps prepare for college, where it's important to be able to schedule time and be able to study on your own, instead of being babied and coerced into doing it. At the public school, it seems like kids can get away with not studying on their own and making homework handouts from the teacher the maximum of what they do to learn for themselves. But on the other hand, it is very nice to have someone to look up to, someone whom you know has studied the subject in college. It's more personal than learning from a textbook or independently researching a subject.

I've come to believe that there must be a balance of these two factors for there to be the best learning atmosphere: mentors to help you and drive to learn on your own. I believe each different road of education, whether it's homeschool, public school, or private school, can foster this, but it takes a will from the students, parents, and teachers.

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