I reckon it’s a shame we have the title teachers! Not that I think we don’t need them or that I want to devalue the hard work, skill and dedication many teachers have.
It’s more that it tends to exclude people without that ‘qualified’ label from believing they are teachers too.
Schools and strategies and silly systems of politics have stolen away the simple fact that actually education begins at home and parents are teachers too.
This notion came up with a parent worrying that she wouldn’t be able to home educate because she wasn’t a qualified teacher. Not true!
Quite often, a qualified teacher is not what kids need. In fact it is often because of some less-than-professional qualified teachers, and the gamble of getting a good or a bad one in school, which makes parents consider home education anyway.
The thing is; we’re all teachers. We are all educators. Because the biggest impact on our children’s education comes not from teaching, but from the demonstration, attitude, and personality of the people our children come into contact with. That starts with parents.
All of us, particularly parents, have an equally important role to play in the education of children, a role that doesn’t need to be ‘qualified’, or is necessarily improved by training. Because it comes more from who we are and how we behave, than what we ‘teach’.
What matters in our children’s education is our attitude to it, how we act towards our kids, our demonstration of respect, our own learning journey – and that isn’t one that is ever complete but is ongoing, the support we give – and I mean humane support not priming our kids parrot fashion, the way in which we allow our children to develop all aspects of their own personalities through the variety of experiences we provide.
All these things impact on our children’s education more than anything we could ‘teach’ them. Because it impacts on them as people. And we tend to forget that it is people we are raising, not box-ticking, test-passing robots primed to regurgitate useless facts and figures.
To enable our youngsters to develop as human beings they need a humane being cheering them on. And there are no qualifications in humane.
Children learn far, far more from who we are, the values we demonstrate, our personality, our ability to communicate, the way we react to challenges, the way we tackle the new things we have to learn – which we do all the time.
And what will aid them in their learning is our patience, understanding, encouragement, inspiration, stimulation, kindness, awareness of their needs, our own learning growth and our attention to all those little details that make a person lovely.
You can’t get qualifications for those attributes. They are personal.
But we can all grow them and be the ‘teachers’ we need to be. In fact, it is our duty as an adult to all the other little beings in the world, to do so.