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A Light in the Halls: A Tribute to School Workers

January 8, 2009

 At a park day recently, I heard a homeschool mom bragging that her daughter tattled on her brother for saying he was going to go to public school, as if he had cursed.  I giggled, and wondered if my kids would ever be that adamant about homeschooling. 


If you are researching Homeschool, it won’t be long until you hear about the ills of the public school system.  I could spout many statistics and first-hand stories that would make any parent’s skin crawl.  One of my daughter’s teachers had her class vote on who the worst kids in class were.  This same teacher would yell “Shut up” so loudly at the kids that the class next door could hear her.  This in second grade.


I remember my own junior high experience.  Grades became secondary to surviving the daily dramas that were played out.  As an unsure, shy girl the halls were a dreary place for me where I tried to find the quickest route to my next class. 


That being said, there are many children that graduate high school fully intact, godly even, and go on to change the world.  I would go so far as to say that school even saves some kids. 


With all the school-bashing that goes on in the Homeschool community, myself regrettably included, I thought it’d be nice to pay tribute to some of the people that make life in the school system bearable.  Delightful, even. 


My daughter’s first grade teacher, for one.  This lady actively loves her students. Coco couldn’t wait to get to school because her teacher couldn’t wait to see her.  Her teacher found all those things you love and appreciate about your child’s personality and she loved and appreciated them, too. She also encouraged parents to be involved and welcomed me into her classroom daily.  She’s the teacher Coco still talks about, six years later.


Then there’s my own mom who finds jobs for learning-disabled, high-risk kids.  She goes all over a large city, convincing employers to give these kids a chance.  She then teaches the kids how to find and hold down a job, how to give an interview and how to be a better citizen in general. She takes kids to deposit their paychecks before their parents can steal it to buy drugs.  She writes to their siblings in prison and tells them they can do better, too. More than one successful student that everyone had given up on has come back to thank her.


My cousin is a first year science teacher for eighth graders.  She spends evenings and weekends grading papers and trying to make science experiments more fun.  When she talks about one of her students “finally getting it,” her face glows.  When she shares her angst over those that don’t want to learn, she is equally passionate.  I leave her feeling excited about learning and wanting to be a better teacher for my kids.  Every day, she gets up eager to guide a new generation of learners that aren’t always respectful and hardly ever thankful.


I thank God every day that I get to be home and teach my children.  While I clearly see the problems in the school system, I also know that not everyone is able teach their kids at home…and certainly not everyone wants to.  So, yes, I also thank God for public school, and the people he has called to be a shining light in those sometime dreary halls.



3 Comments leave one →
  1. turtlemomma permalink
    January 9, 2009 5:17 pm

    I liked your little blog. I have two very close friends who were home schooled and are home schooling their own kids. They are delightful sweet and smart people, but are a little sensitive and sheltered. Nothing too wrong with that though. The world is ugly. I have two cousins that were home schooled and they are some of the smartest guys I know. I myself had lots of learning issues in school, and when I went to a tiny Church School I did so much better!

    My friend Katie recently had to put her older kids in public elementary school. Life at home was too crazy to be able to give enough attention and time to them concerning school. It was really hard on her and her husband. She had a few people tell her it was basically evil to place her kids in public school. She felt bad and ashamed.

    I told her a story about my own son Austin (11). He was in a speech class with an Autistic boy.
    The kids were asked, “how many friends do you have?”
    My son replied that he had about 200 friends. Then she asked the Autistic boy the same question.
    He replied ” I dont have any.”
    Austin said to him , ” Yes you do! IM your friend!”

    I said to Katie, this is why our kids are at public school. To share Jesus, to be a light in that school, and to be friends to those who dont have any.

    That really cheered her up because she realize that her own daughter was doing the same thing with her little friend who had freckles and no one would play with her.

    I just thought Id share that. I like your blog.
    Do you ever go to Its got tons of blogs on there like yours and lots of great ideas.


  2. millsupdate permalink
    January 9, 2009 5:30 pm

    What a lovely commentary on the very system I have personally trashed for way too long.
    Thank you for the words about your ol’ Ma–I am honored to be honored by my favorite teacher ever–My Angela.
    I just love the way that you do what you do.

  3. angelamills permalink*
    January 9, 2009 7:07 pm

    Yes! God obviously does not have the same plan for every family. Coco has been in public, private, and now homeschool and He’s been here all along. Thanks for your comments!! I’ll check out goodieblog!

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