“Treat me like you treat your teacher, NOT like you treat your mother!” I yelled.
|Carmen during "P.E." class - |
climbing and swinging.
The image I had envisioned of a carefree and unstructured boat-schooling environment went right out the window. I found myself fantasizing about strict schedules and dress codes, about punishment for disrespectful treatment of teachers and classmates. I felt like giving up. Only a few weeks into our foray into this world of home-schooling and their bad attitudes combined with my lack of training in teaching made me want to quit.
I was reminded once again of my deep-rooted belief that teachers are the most important, powerful, influential, undervalued and underpaid professionals in our society. Having grown up with teachers as parents, I have spent countless hours debating this point to my peers over the years, and have seen first hand the amount of work, energy, time and dedication it takes to teach.
|Bruce giving the kids their sailing/physics lesson.|
Working at the table that serves as our classroom, dining room and living room, the kids were enthusiastic, jumping into their math and spelling textbooks and excited about writing their thoughts down in journals. All jazzed about the science unit Bruce taught them on the physics of sailing and on cartography of the ocean floor, we saw the sparkle in their eyes and felt proud of them (and proud of us) in achieving success in our boat-based classroom.
|The kids made wooden sailboats |
to learn about points of sail.
Luckily, this negative attitude from both students and teacher came right when we had planned to take a week off from school while their grandparents rendezvoused with us in Victoria, British Columbia. We closed our textbooks and sunk head-first into FIELD TRIPS! Now I understand how important they are! We attended museums, studied architecture, read about the history of the city, went to a castle, talked with artists at the market, and learned about the history of the nearly 100-year-old schooner in the slip beside us.
After this much-needed week off, the grandparents returned home, we set sail and are getting back into the routine of school. I feel ready to make it work. With $170 worth of books and teaching materials from Amazon, I am now armed with tools at my fingertips written by educators, and I feel confident I can become a better teacher with a better attitude. My teaching will not come close to the skilled teaching that comes from years of experience and a proper and continuing education that our public school teachers pursue, but it will improve, I am sure of it.
|We took the classroom outside this day,|
and learned that it was too difficult to
concentrate on the beach....but if we
hadn't gone there, we wouldn't have found
Ernie and the boatbuilding shop
|Richard machining wooden plugs to go in "Pocahontas"|
|Carmen installed the plugs in each rib.|
|The plugs ready to be installed.|
Wonderful writing, teacher-mom! Also your insights along with Carmen's, Richard's and Bruce's are right-on. Thank you for the kind words about us teachers who are so often maligned.ReplyDelete
Even good teachers who are kind, patient, and tolerant, lose their tempers at times. After all they are human too. So don't worry if you get upset sometimes - it comes with the territory (as they say in Death of a Salesman). Keep up the valiant work onboard beautiful Northern Passage.
Jen, can I share this with my daughter's teacher?ReplyDelete
Of course you can, please do! Share share share. :)Delete
My heart swells with the love I feel while reading your eloquent writing, feeling your struggles and successes. It is wonderful that your way of life naturally produces such loving growth. You must wonder sometimes who and what are the real teachers and the real students! Love you all. KimmerReplyDelete
Jen, you all are so open to adventure & learning. You inspire me so much! Thank you!!!ReplyDelete