MODERN DAY MARTHA

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    Excuse me, Teacher?

    Sunday, September 6th, 2009

    When I was little, everyone told me I should be a teacher when I grew up. Oh, how I hated that. A teacher was very possibly the last thing I wanted to be, not because I didn’t like teachers, I just had no interest in it whatsoever. Being in a classroom all day? No thanks.

    Jump to yesterday, at a BBQ with some of B’s co-workers. They all have kids, and one of the wives (who stays at home with her son) was asking around about preschools and daycare. She explained that her child, who is 4, needs to go to preschool because he needs learn to read and write and learn his numbers to be ready for kindergarten.  And so they were looking at different options, all expensive, all time consuming.

    When she got around to me, I told her about our little home preschool, and she just nodded and moved on, going back to the discussion about 6 hour school days and whether food was covered in the fee. Teaching at home wasn’t even an option to consider.

    Now, before I go any farther, let me state unequivocally that I’m SO not anti-preschool. That’s not what this is about.

    What this is about is believing that we’re not teachers.

    Maybe it’s because I grew up in a home with a natural born preschool teacher for a mom, who taught me to read and held summer school in our house for me, my siblings,  and our friends. Maybe it’s because my dad taught me math each day after school when I didn’t understand it in class. Maybe it’s seeing my friends and family members have home “schools”; whether that consists of doing worksheets with a preschooler or a full fledged curriculum with varying ages of elementary school age kids. Or maybe it’s because I’m part of a church that regularly asks people with no training to teach classes full of kids or adults.

    Whatever the reason, I believe we’re all teachers. Some people, like my mom, have an inborn talent for it. Others have to work at it. But with some effort and imagination, I think any of us can teach anything we need to. It’s not necessary to rely on someone else to do it for us, if we don’t want to. And I stress that last point- I’m not saying everyone should homeschool, yeeha! – but rather that we shouldn’t feel inadequate to the task of teaching

    And really, (and my seven year old self CAN NOT believe I’m saying this), is there anything better? Sharing information, tools for understanding, witnessing connections being made, light bulbs going on; it’s like watching a magic trick. And I wouldn’t miss that magic trick for the world.

    How about you? Does teaching come easily to you, or is it a struggle? What’s your favorite thing to teach?