I’ve read dozens of articles on what makes a great public school teacher.
The articles usually tout some facts about high ratio of student to teacher, classroom burnout, building some kind of strong network for the teachers and otherwise taking measures to retain good teachers for some long period of time. Does this sound familiar to you too?
Is Homeschooling Really ALL About the Children?
As homeschool teachers do we have different needs? How do we measure up as teachers? What makes a great or exceptional homeschool teacher?
When I started to homeschool, I read all kinds of books about how to teach and tutor. This was a good thing at first.
Soon though I realized I was relying on them to teach instead of what I was given naturally. The truth of it was I was not a public school teacher. I had no background in teaching as a public school teacher.
What I did learn was that teaching at home is totally different than teaching in a classroom.
How do I know this if I have never taught in a classroom? Because I don’t compete with public school teachers. What I mean by this is that instructing can be the same for any good teacher, however, it’s the method that is different.
Methods for learning at home couldn’t be more opposite than a public school setting.
It’s not my style to bash public school teachers as I care for all people and each deserves dignity.
I will say though that no matter how well-intentioned public school teachers are, the students are not their children. Why is this so paramount? Because love is the strongest motivator in the universe to get the help that your children need.
Too, public school teaching is a relatively new concept. Homeschooling is not. “Home, not the school, was the original educational system,” Raymond and Dorothy Moore wrote in their book Home-Spun Schools.
Contrary to what both public school advocates and even homeschooling families may think, classroom burnout does not have to exist.
We are not trying to be public school teachers modeling our learning environment after a public school setting, using the same teaching tools or teaching to a test. We are at home teaching, living and learning together.
Parents are the most important educators of their children.
3 Tips from the Pros
However well meaning intentions do not necessarily make us superior homeschool teachers either.
What is required to be a good homeschool teacher?
1. Conviction. You don’t have to have a teaching degree to have conviction.
Conviction has been defined as an unshakable belief in something.
Conviction comes from the heart and our conviction is not based purely on emotion but on knowledge.
The knowledge is that Proverbs 22:16 says to “train up a child”. It really is that simple.
Our conviction comes from the fact that we have been given the obligation as parents to train our children. Our emotion or heart moves us to be unshakable in that belief because of our love for our children.
2. Teaching is an Art.
This means we need to continue to strive to develop our methods.
Teaching requires a lot of work and skill. Education has to be relevant to our everyday living.
A child needs to see the direct relation between learning and living practically.
As homeschool teachers we will need to continually read, educate ourselves at conventions and put into practice what we are learning.
Appreciating that each of our children learn differently heightens our attempts to become better teachers. As good teachers we constantly strive to improve our methods and not stick to one plan.
Using boring curricula can hamper any progress but worst yet is a boring teacher.
Enthusiasm is contagious. It’s true not every moment in our journey we are just bubbling with enthusiasm so that is why it’s important our children learn to be self motivated.
In order for self motivation to take root, our positive attitude, motivation, and spark towards what we teach is a must. Our children are so very smart and can detect when we are sincere or not about our teaching.
Practice what you teach, model what you want your children to learn, instill values for hard work and practical living, pray for wisdom, love your children for who they are and best of all realize you are qualified to teach.
Hugs to you today,