Last night I attended our final "Back to School Night" for the beginning of this year. (Have I mentioned how much of an utter pain in the backside having 4 kids at 4 different schools is?!?! Oy!) Anyway, this is not a complainer post, I actually just wanted to say how much I appreciate good teachers.
I could have cried tears of joy last night when Bryce's math teacher said that they should really only be spending 20 minutes a night on their math homework. No more. She expressed in no uncertain terms that if they are struggling with it, and we as parents aren't able to help them get it, to JUST. STOP. She said, her concern is, she doesn't want to 'lose them' at this point, and make them really hate math out of sheer frustration. She said, write a note, and send the homework back saying "We tried...we don't get it...", and she will help them again the next day, no questions asked. Having worked with multiple children who have spent evenings in tears...with me close behind...over homework frustrations, has made me so appreciative of a teacher who actually cares about the whole of the child, more than they care about their assignments.
If there's one thing I learned from my years homeschooling, it's the value of teaching children to be 'learners' as opposed to stuffing them with facts, that they can turn around and spit back out, but without any lasting value. I understand that teachers are under pressure to make kids 'perform' to standards, because they (the teachers) are having their feet held to the fire, for reasons that just make me angry. I hate the 'politicalness' of our education system, and trust me, you don't even want me to start a rant on that. But it does surely make me appreciate when you receive the blessing of a good teacher, who teaches because he or she loves kids, is passionate about their subject, and is good at helping people LEARN. (Oh, and it really helps when they're funny too...)
Here's to all the GOOD teachers!! And to the start of what I am hoping to be a really good school year. And to enduring the LAST 'Back to School Night' for another year!! Woot woot!