I was shocked over the reality I heard today about a family asking for a simple Annual Educational Evaluation – Portfolio Review – for their home educated , 12 year old son.
The “teacher / evaluator” chosen by the parents to do the Annual Educational Evaluation put the young male student through a battery of questions and tests, from her own personal file of “grade level” tests and questions. The father of the young boy was very stressed and worried that his son was not learning enough when his son went through a full panic attack from stress caused by the teacher’s intimidating tactics of interrogation. The home educated son could not even speak for a time, from his nervousness. His mother had to demand that the “evaluator / teacher” stop the battery of tests and questions so she could calm her son down enough to breath and speak, reminding him that he had done some of these same educational activities and skill practices dozens of times in the their home educational program; and that he knew the answers very well. To me, this is a form of mental and emotional, academic, if you will, bullying by an “evaluator / teacher, authority” figure.
To top it all off, after the so called evaluator, teacher put this family through the “evaluation” process in this totally unnecessary and stupid fashion, she wouldn’t sign the county’s home education annual evaluation form, claiming that her signing the evaluation form would make her liable for the student’s learning for the previous year by, according to her, implying that she was his teacher for the previous year. All this, even after the student’s mother gave the evaluator the FL ss. 1002.41, explained the choices, and gave her the procedures for evaluators given to the family by the county. These people (“teachers”) are leading the “education” of our youth in classrooms across the country.
What bothered me most about this situation is that it seemed to me that the flustered, frightened, lack of confidence of the 12 year old boy, proved to be the final straw for the dad to convince himself, and his son, that his son needed to start attending school again. That home education was not good enough.
To me, the opposite has been shown to be true through my experience in the schools over the years. This scene is so common in the schools. Teachers that don’t inspire, or encourage children, but rather intimidate and even beat children down most often. We do sometimes fall into this trap as well, as parents, trying so hard and getting “everything done,” educating our own children. . That is why accountability and sharing with each other often, is important. Talking, chatting and at least blogging to see what we all are learning about ourselves and our children in the world of home academia. One very Wonderful thing about home education is that we are learning and growing with our children, and each other.
But in the schools, more and more, they are constantly pressuring children with “tests” and bullying is happening from every angle, even from the teachers with their academic, mental, intimidating with the stress of tests and performance; grades and scores. It is so unnecessary and harmful to our children’s well being. It is hurting our families and communities.
I am not opposed to tests and assessments. Far from it. Everything and everyday is a test to me and my family. It’s the emphasis put on performance and scores, and not True achievement and success. The schools, and the “system,” is constantly setting up our children / youth for failure, and then rubbing their esteem in it, just beating their young characters down daily, and stressing them out.
There are some good teachers and a few good schools but where? Very few and far between. These are our children, only for a few short years. Let’s keep them out of the stress shops and bully parlors, please!!