But what if I’m not a teacher?
I often hear this question from parents. When we began homeschooling, even though I HAD a credential, people constantly asked, “But how will you teach high school when you are only an elementary teacher ?” I know how intimidating it feels. Don’t let it stop you.
Breaking news: Like it or not, if you are a parent you already are a teacher.
Becoming more aware of what you are teaching and improving how you do it will make you a better parent and help your child learn. It’s kind of scary once you understand that how you live and interact everyday is what you are really teaching your child.
It’s okay. Breathe.
I am not trying to denigrate teachers. But I would like you to consider a few points:
- There is no reason to teach the way you were taught, and many well documented reasons from brain research to help learners in new ways.
- At one point all teachers were not teachers yet. They started somewhere.
- The best “teachers” in our lives are not always a person or necessarily some one person with a degree in teaching.
- Supporting the learner’s needs and the processes of exploration, growth and connection is more important than teacher training skills or subject matter expertise.
- The most important quality of a great teacher is the willingness to be learning all the time, along with and from the student.
- One of the most important things we can teach someone is to love learning and how they can learn for themselves, without needing us to plan, manage or direct learning.
- We teach the most by how we live our lives.
You may have lots that you want to learn. That’s a good thing.
There will always be challenges. Just because you make the decision to unschool or homeschool doesn’t mean issues, difficulties and challenges will disappear. They may change, They lessen. But life is full of challenges and opportunities. Every problem is an opportunity for learning and adventure. Showing our kids how to deal with difficulties, determine our priorities, and make decisions in line with our values is some of the most important teaching we can do.
I give you permission to teach.
But what is most important is that you give yourself permission to learn.