Thanks from a Mom

I’m currently in my open office hours, meaning that my office door is wide open, for anybody to drop by. Just a few moments ago, as I kneeling on the floor, sorting through books, the mom of one of my students from Fall 2005 dropped by to thank me for being her daughter’s teacher.

I remember her daughter — an intelligent, kind, devoutly Christian girl, entirely homeschooled all the way up to high school. Her first experience of public education was this past Fall, at the community college I teach at. And, as it turns out, I was her favorite teacher.

Public education *can* work, if only teachers can have the freedom to make it work. Teachers on the college level take that freedom for granted, I think, whereas teachers on the primary and secondary level are hamstrung with all of these regulatory crap. It takes a strong principal and superintendent with cajones to make public schools do what they’re supposed to do — educate kids. Not train them, not prep them to pass state-mandated tests, not be a pawn in cultural ideologies. But to educate them.

The fact that my student was homeschooled her *entire* pre-college years and was *more* prepared for college than many of her publicly-educated classmates is testimony to the state of public education these days.

The fact that her mother thanked me is testimony of what the public post-secondary school can give as a model to public pre-college school.

Her mom, by the way, is taking classes at the college I teach at (which is why she’s on campus). She’s taking them for fun. With a pre-secondary teacher like that, no wonder her daughter’s doing fine in college.

“Thank you,” she said. “I was worried about her first experience in college, and she loved your class.”

Awesome.

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