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Thought I'd just throw up some links of things that I've seen lately that I think are neat!

First, Great post on how to get your kids to clean their rooms. You need a system! Reminds me of this post on age appropriate chores I wrote a while back.

And along those lines, here's another good post on how to get little ones to help you tidy! And another very worthy one (with pictures!).

Here's an interesting article on why a woman decided to be a SAHM. I like the feel of this article--I might chronicle my own journey soon in a post!

Now for something complete different: Here's what's supposed to be a feel good article about teachers in Reader's Digest: 20 Things Your Child's Teacher Won't Tell You. It's written by the American Federation of Teachers, so it's slanted. I find things like this a little difficult to read. One point, for instance, says:

4. We don’t arrive at school 10 minutes before your child does. And we don’t leave the minute they get back on the bus. Many of us put in extra hours before and after school.
Ah, but I know teachers who DO arrive 10 minutes before (or sometimes after class is supposed to begin) and they leave early. Some do work long hours. But not all.

The truth is some teachers are amazing. Some do have a calling. But not all do. I don't understand why teachers get so defensive about this. If you're a great teacher, parents will know it. We parents talk about who the good teachers are. We try to arrange to get our kids into your classes.

If you're a lousy teacher, though, parents know that, too. We're allowed to criticize electricians, pastors, plumbers, and cashiers. Why is it so sacrosanct to not criticize teachers? Hint to you teachers: it makes you look incredibly thin-skinned, and makes us not take you seriously. We love the great teachers. If your unions would stop whining, we may appreciate the rest of you a little more, too. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but that's how we feel! You do yourselves no favours when the line taken so often in the media is, "teachers are awesome. They do a great job. The fault lies entirely with parents." We know some parents are lousy, but not all are, just like with teachers. When you take "it's everybody's fault but ours" line, it sounds like you're just passing the buck, and it's hard to respect someone who does that.

Another note: whenever I post on teachers, I invariably have commenters questioning my right to post on this, because I homeschool my kids.

That assumes that the only people who have a stake in the education system are parents whose kids are there right now. But I have friends with kids having great trouble in school because of teachers, or curriculum, or bullying. I have nephews and nieces in the school system.

But more importantly, aren't we all stakeholders in the education system? First, we're stakeholders simply because our tax dollars go to fund it, and so we all should have a say. But secondly, we're stakeholders because all our future doctors, nurses, clerks, garbage collectors, lawyers, designers, and computer engineers are currently in school. If we care about the future of our country, we care about schools, whether our own children are in public schools right at this minute or not.

I hope that addresses that concern!

What do you think on these issues? Any great suggestions for kids' chores? Why did you decide to stay home (if you do)? Any thoughts on schools, teachers, or thin-skinned unions? How do we help teachers and parents get on the same page again? I'd love to hear your thoughts on any of these issues!

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At 10:52 AM , Blogger Heather said…

As a full time teacher I can tell you that if a teacher is doing their job well, they are never showing up 10 min. before class or leaving early. Most teachers at my school work more than 50-60 hours a week including prep, marking, extra-curricular activities and actual classroom teaching. So yes, there are teachers who drop the ball just as there are parents who would rather have the teacher parent their child than do it themselves. I've had parents ask me to discipline their child at school so they don't have to do it at home and look like "the bad guy". I've even had a dad ask me to take his son's xbox away from him! So it definitely goes both ways. Communication between parents and teachers is key though. If we can work together and tag-team the students for their good, it can be powerful!


At 11:32 AM , Blogger Tessa said…

My reason for being a SAHM: I found that my business was not neccesarily eating up my time (I set my own hours and was very flexible, in fact, I usually took my son with me on appointments!) so much as my mental capacity. For some reason when I became a mom my brain turned to mush. It wasn't fair to my son for me to be half engaged with him because I had to fill out paperwork and it wasn't fair to my clients for me to bring my son while talking about their financial future (though I never got one single complaint, in fact they asked me to bring him lol).
When he was about 8 months old I made the decision to officially retire from my business (I got a paycheck that paid of a good chunk of debt and we could live off jsut my husbands income). When he was 10 months I let my license expire and was officially a SAHM.
It was incredible to know that I was home with him for good. I found that once I didn't have to worry about making an income. I found that I gave myself fully into mothering. Nothing held me back anymore. When I was working it was hard to get fully attached to Caleb and immersed in mothering. I'm so glad I retired and don't regret it one bit. I've been out of the work force for just over a year now and I love being a mother more every day.

As for teachers, I've had a lot of good ones. But I went to a Christian school for a number of years. I had some good public school teachers but the passion (for the most part) wasn't there in the same way. Good teachers teach because they love kids and they love molding young minds. My dad was a teacher for 9 years. He still gets calls from old students everytime any one of them visits Canada (he taught college in the Netherlands) because they loved him as a teacher and respected him.
Just by my observation: there were more teachers who actualy enjoyd teaching in the private sector than there were in the public sector. Though I remember a couple really great public school teachers and several really rotton Christian school teachers. And the majority of them put in the 50-60 hours per week, but not always cuz they wanted too.
And if a teacher really was so great, why would they take education away from their students by going on strike to earn more money? Is it about the kids or about the money? I remember strikes happening right at the time of government exams. Kids were missing out on critical classes because someone wanted more pay. More pay than $50-$100k per year for 8 hours a day of work, 10 months a year, paid benefits, stats, and holidays (I have a friend who was involved in of the strikes, this info isn't just pulled out of a hat).


At 10:06 AM , Blogger Veronica Boulden said…

Great post. I went to college to be a teacher, but I changed majors halfway through. My college was known for having one of the top schools of education in the area, too. It was supposed to be very "up" on the all teaching philosophies, etc. That said, what I was being taught the first two years of school under minded the role of the family in education at every turn. When we were discussing solutions to problems we would face in the classroom, if we even mentioned the dreaded word "parents," if we even considered what they could bring to the equation, my professors would just wave their hand and dismiss us. We were TAUGHT to undermine the family and I fear, this is the case in many schools of education today. We were told we would basically be called on to deliver the kids from the sins of the parents. And, by sins, I mean their family's precious faith and ideals. At the time, I couldn't articulate why this didn't sit well with me. I wanted to be world changer and influence kids for good and all that. But, now, I see that I couldn't go along with it because I wanted even more to influence families toward each other. That's what the world really needs and that's what the good teachers do well.
Why I chose to be a stay at home mom? I wanted to raise my own kids. I didn't want them to simply be "handled" for eight hours a day. That's the most even the best caregivers can do, really, just "handle" kids well until the parents come and do the real instructing and discipline and caring. I wanted to bulk of my children's days spent with someone (me) who had the God-given authority to mold them. I realize I am blessed to be able to stay home financially. That may not always be the case, so I try to be thankful and not have a superior attitude towards others who chose differently. My mom and dad worked full time and I turned out great, I think. :) But, I didn't always want more of them, so that's why I want to stay home and give my kids more of myself. Now I need to get off the computer and do just that! :)


At 10:10 AM , Blogger Veronica Boulden said…

I meant to say I DID always want more of my mom and dad. They were just so spent after a long day at work, unfortunately, neither of them had anything to offer.

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Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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