the network for radical unschooling families
I had an interesting conversation with a teacher. Specifically she is a 'reading specialist' and now works at a school with children who have behavioral issues due to traumatic events, upbringing etc.
She spoke about how much she loved her job and loved the kids. She has a loud conversational voice; she likes to get close to people while talking and is demonstrative while speaking. When I met her the first time I was uncomfortable with her style of speaking and her proximity to my face and space. She mentioned that when she first started working with these kids that the other adults sort of pulled her aside to let her know that the kids might not like to be hugged or spoken to that way because they had been exposed to loud (angry) voices and were touched roughly (abusively). She said all of the kids listen to her and have a great rapport with her. I responded that they trusted her. She said they didn't seem to be bothered by her loudness or her closeness and, in fact, often respond to her instead of the other teachers. She has been asked by other teachers to come to their classrooms and talk to one child or another.
We talked about how love and affection and a positive environment helps these kids learn. She said her goal is that they feel loved. I said, I wish all children could experience that...that they would be cared about and cared for rather than steered towards an educational goal.
She asked me why I decided to homeschool and was surprised that my primary goal was not for educational or religious reasons. She said I was the only homeschooler she has met that didn't want to keep their kids from the world.
We were in a room with other people and the discussion moved in a different direction so I didn't have time to delve into that phrase but I did think to myself that school is not "the world"--- not for my family.