Sometimes it's hard to get into conversations with my friends who have children in school. I don't run around and try to push homeschooling on people. There are times, though, when someone says something about a situation that leads me to say aloud, "And that is one of the reasons why I homeschool!" Oops. Mixed company. I'm not going to get any validation here.
One of those instances happened tonight. A woman was talking about how her son was labeled "unable to learn" and put in a corner, essentially, in his first grade class. The teacher was older and simply decided not to include him. The parents were made to go through IEP's and meetings upon meetings regarding their son. They were told that he is unable to learn and a disruption to the class. Ha! Turns out he's gifted... no kidding.
I piped up and said, "And that's one reason why I choose to homeschool!" I have boys. Energetic boys. Boys I believe are truly gifted. (Others have said it to, so it's not just me being a mom... ) My boys are off-the-wall energetic...even after hiking all day at Purgatory Chasm. Off. The. Wall. I can see them being pigeon-holed into that "unable to learn" category. Or labeled as ADHD because they can't sit down for an hour and focus.
One mom, whom I love very dearly, said, "It's not always like that, if you get the right teacher."
Hmm. The RIGHT teacher? What if you get the wrong teacher? All the way through school? Should sending your child to school be a gamble? Just hope for the best, kid!
I didn't want to get into an argument. I know she didn't mean it like that. She was thinking in a more positive light. But the fact of the matter is, there are those who label and pigeon-hole before really investigating and delving deeper. And yes, it does make me sad that it is a gamble. I remember the "good" teachers, those who were unable to reach everyone, and those who were unable to reach anyone. There were teachers I loved. Those same teachers were hated by others. And that's the gamble. Not every teaching style is a match for every student. A truly dynamic teacher would be able to figure out how to teach each and every student in class, and actually do it. With 20 plus students that is nearly impossible. I learned from the teachers who matched my learning style. As a teacher, I was able to teach those who matched my teaching style. There were simply those who I did not get along with. And, by "get along with", I mean our personalities clashed. There was much resistance. And in the end, a co-teacher was put in, and I was okay with that. I think that is a big part of it, too. Teachers are expected to be able to handle their class. If you can't handle them, then you're failing at your job. I think it's more important to be able to ask for help. "I need help with this child!" Not just separate him from the rest and stick him in the corner.
He was not allowed to participate in circle time. How sad. What message does that send to everyone in that room?