September 17, 2022

The politicization of the education system has destroyed parent-teacher relations.  Instead of encouraging healthy communication among parents, teachers, and administrators, public school officials have continued undermining parental rights and implementing their own political ideologies into coursework.  Teachers unions work to vilify concerned parents and label them as “extremists” for showing up and trying to be involved in their children’s educational process.

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Sixty-eight percent of parents surveyed by The Learning Heroes expressed concerns about politicians making curriculum decisions.  Eighty-two percent of parents recently admitted in a Harris Poll that they are willing to change their political affiliation over educational policies.  Trust in the public education system has dropped to a second all-time low, and conservative and moderate teachers recognize this. They are leaving left-leaning in favor of private schools, microschools, and homeschooling options.

I have been homeschooling my children for over 10 years now.  My family was forced out of the public education system when the district that served us lost its accreditation.  I also work as an English teacher at our local co-op.

I do not have an education degree, but I have worked in professional writing for over a decade.  My lengthy experience working with various genres has offered just as much credibility as any teaching certificate.  Instead of learning from someone who has only been trained to teach, my students are gaining insider knowledge from someone who writes for a living.  In exchange, I am rejuvenated with hope for the future as I teach creative writing to upper elementary students and also high school journalism.

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Being in charge of educating a group of students is important work.  Critical thinking and unbiased teaching methods are my baseline.  I consider these to be the most important principles of exchanging information (and education is nothing more than a sophisticated exchange of information).  It is easy work when helping ten-year-old children decide what kind of monster to put in their fairy story, but it is more difficult in my journalism class.

Each week, I bring in articles to share with my students before we move on to our writing exercises.  Sometimes I work to display examples of great writing; others, I’m presenting what not to do to your reader.  I like to offer a healthy mixture of seriousness, professionalism, satire, and inspiration, but above all, I wish to be politically unbiased.

During our lessons, I have no intention of instructing my students on how or what to think of any given subject.  Instead, our classes are based on inquiry, exploration, and self-expression.  There is nothing I love more than to hear students describe their own independent thoughts.

I also know that I have a responsibility to my students.  I am being trusted by the other adults in my community to help educate their children.  While their children may be “my students,” they do not belong to me in any capacity.

This is where many alternative school teachers’ opinions differ from that of current public school educators.  As the debate over how and when identity politics should be taught rages on, some teachers have declared, “I’m your mom now” to LGBT students who do not feel accepted by their parents.

That sentiment may be figurative, but our country is experiencing a serious youth mental health crisis.  Students are more confused than ever.  They are struggling with various internal issues, and educators who overstep their boundaries, or even pretend to have any legal claim over children, are sometimes doing more harm than good.