A Light in the Halls: A Tribute to School Workers
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.