Thursday, October 28, 2010


I have no faith in the modern public education system.
Recently, I have decided that I would like to seriously entertain the idea of homeschooling my children. I’m not sure that I will be able to do that given our current financial situation, but man, I feel like I could do a better job than our school systems. There are a lot of terrible teachers out there who are protected because of their teachers union. These jerks should be fired. Just like in any other field, if you’re not doing your job, you should get the little pink slip. Now, let me go on record stating that there are some truly great teachers out there. I never had one, but I firmly believe they exist. My sister is a prime example. My friend, Todd, another. These people are 100% dedicated to their jobs and their job has become more to them than what my job is to me. Not only is it a career and a way to pay their bills, it’s a way to impact lives. Because of people like Sarah and Todd some children who would never have had a chance will make it through school, and as long as another teacher doesn’t screw it up, these kids will graduate and be successful. Some teachers live to teach and thoroughly enjoy the career path they have chosen. Some teachers have burned out and hate every minute they are there and those are the teachers that are systematically destroying the potential of our children.
Some people call me arrogant. I’ve been called a know-it-all on numerous occasions and being named a smart-ass is daily for me. I tell you that, because I want to let you know that I feel like I am smarter than most people I meet. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot to learn and I am by no means, well educated, but I do pride myself on trying to know a lot of information even if some of it is simply trivial. I never earned good grades in school, but in everything except math, it was due to laziness and apathy toward the instruction I was given rather than not grasping the subject matter. I did especially poorly in college, but that may be in part due to my argumentative nature and trying to pick fights with the teachers and again, laziness. I didn’t know what I wanted to be, so I had no reason to work. There was no goal in sight, so I figured “why waste the time?” There are a ton of people out there who are more educated than I am, but that doesn’t mean they’re smarter.
Now that you know my background, you’re probably asking yourself why I think I would be able to teach my children better than someone with a bachelor’s degree could. The answer, quite simply, is that I know I could because they are my kids and I would make sure that they knew anything and everything they needed to. I wouldn’t give them a passing grade just because I felt sorry for them. I wouldn’t be harder on them or show favoritism because of their popularity level. I could teach all of the subjects they needed to know with more precision and honestly than any state employed teacher in the country. I wouldn’t just lecture from a text books. There are too many things in life to experience to waste them stuck behind desks learning about the civil war when you could be out on the battlefields reading the memorial plaques and really sparking and interest in history. There are better ways of learning about our freedoms than reading them in a book. What if your science class went on field trips every week? You history class? You arts? Literature? Theater and museums are just the tip of the educational iceberg that could be discovered not being confined in concrete walls for eight hours a day.
I truly don’t feel like that any government run or church run school system can give my sons the attention they need. I don’t think that they can learn enough from 7-3, Monday through Friday. Kids should never stop learning and we, as adults and parents and teachers should never stop teaching out children about the way the world actually works and about their place in the past, present, and future of our society.


  1. Just remember that there are LOTS of teachers out there that truly love their jobs and the children they teach. Teachers (myself included) don't know everything there is to know about everything but we (especially those of us in high scoring school districts) work our tails off to learn new techniques and strategies to teach every single child. We are constantly adapting the way we teach to the way the world is changing. I know what you are talking about though. Just don't let a few bad experiences tarnish the image that you have of the public education system because most of us put 1,000% of ourselves into those children.

  2. Hey Chris, first of all, I have to say I've really been enjoying your blog lately - keep it up! Secondly, I felt the need to comment on this post. My parents are both teachers, my dad was for over 30 years before he retired. They are two of the good ones in my opinion, but others may have a different opinion of them. But I agree with you, there are some serious issues with our public education system. There are bad teachers, bad schools, bad administrators and bad lesson plans. There is also really bad funding for some schools. My husband says he only had two good teachers his whole life including college. But there are also bad parents. I don't think any teacher will say that schools and teachers can do it alone. Support from parents at home makes such a huge difference in a child's education. I truly believe that the public education system can work for most kids, but I also am a big believer in parents supplementing that education at home. I learned a lot sitting behind a desk at school, but I also learned a lot at home.

    Yes, there are major improvements that school systems should make - smaller classrooms, caring teachers and more variety in the subject matter - believe me, I'm with you there. But it's not all teachers, or the system's fault. Bad parents can take some of the blame too. I'm sorry you never had a good teacher during your education, and it sounds like you had great support at home. Any large system like that can fail people, but there are success stories as well. There have been kids from public education systems that have done very well in life - since most kids are educated that way. Even if your kids are stuck behind a desk learning about the civil war, you can still take them to the battlefield on the weekend. You shouldn't feel that if your kids go to public school, you have to hand over all of their education to the school. You can still have a major, major influence.

    Jennifer C.

    (I couldn't figure out how to log in with my name on this thing - must be my lack of hands on experience with blogging systems.)

  3. @Sarah - Your school seems like more of an exception than the rule and I'm super proud of you for that. You guys are ranked very highly in Kentucky and that's really important.

    @Everyone - I'm not trying to completely trash the public education system. It, for the most part, does what it needs to do. It's not always perfect, but hell, what is? The point of this entry was to get some of my personal feelings off my chest and to point out some of the issues to people who may not have been in the system for a long time. I know there are good teachers, there just aren't enough of them. I know state budgets are partially responsible, and I believe that whole system should be scrapped and started over.

    I really appreciate the feedback on this one and I'm glad it's got people thinking.

  4. It's all very sad. I had kids who most would call "unloveable" yet I loved them dearly. When I was handed my pink slip in May I was told, "You're a good teacher, but I just can't work with you." That left me to wonder exactly what that administrator was looking for, a bad teacher who he could work with? I've been very broken hearted and unfortunately life skills just doesn't seem to be very important in the education system. Really? They aren't called life skills for nothing.