Originally Answered: What do public school teachers have against homeschool teachers?
As a homeschooling mother I'm going to say something that might surprise you, but just because you are doing well with your children and the co-op children, doesn't mean that everyone is doing so well. Just as the sensational "bad" teacher makes headlines, so do the "bad" homeschooling families. That colors how others view what we do.
IMHO, we need to have the freedom to do what is best for the individual child. In some cases, at some points in their lives, public education may be best. For others, private/charter schools may offer the smaller classes, immersion experiences, religious/moral foundation, etc. that would fit best with the student's needs. And yet for others, homeschooling may provide the atmosphere and focused, individualized attention that your child needs.
In my experience over the past 15 yrs., public school teacher's opinions toward homeschool are quite varied. Some end up quitting and homeschooling their own, when they identify the need to do so. Some don't care what we do with our own. Some tell us (secretly) that they wish they could afford to stay at home and teach their own first. Some despise everything about us and never fail to belittle us in front of our children and voice unsolicited criticism to our children (I can count these on one hand, thankfully).
I was an RN years ago, and worked during the time when medicaid and medicare and insurance reimbursement for care was changing the face of professional nursing. This included the rise of home care of very sick patients. I was so adamently opposed to this idea. How could someone untrained in nursing, elderly or very young, distracted by children, living in public housing , etc., ever be expected to provide safe, adequate and high level patient care? But though I was ashamed to admit it, years later I learned that I was way off. Yes, sometimes it was a failure and the patient ended up back in the hospital or nursing home. That, however, was infrequent. Many times the care was quite adequate, many times it was far superior than anything I had ever seen in a traditional health care setting. The why to this seemed to be very simple...there was love, caring, devotion to the responsibility, and a willingness to put that loved one's needs ahead of their own. They bent over backwards learning new and complicated procedures when necessary, but for the most part the care was simple and common sense allowed them to meet the individual's needs far better than someone who did not know the patient as well. The patient was not just another patient to them------it was someone they loved. If something came up they could not handle, help was a phone call away and no one hesitated to ask for it when needed.
That is what happens in most good homeschool families. No one knows these children better, no one cares more, no one is as willing to die to themselves and put the child first as a good parent. If the parent sees the child struggling in a way they cannot help, they know that help is a phone call away.
I was willing to eat my words and admit that home care was a viable option. Most public school teachers feel the same way about homeschools in my experience.
When my oldest was in public school, I volunteered 3 days a week . It was the same 5 or 6 parents showing up all the time. Many kids behaved in ways that showed they had poor guidance at home. They were often disrespectful, didn't do the work and got mad when they were held accountable, were ungrateful at times . How can teachers see this kind of thing day after day, year after year and expect these same parents to take on the job of effective teaching? Of course, the truth is these parents wouldn't and couldn't. Not all families can do home nursing care either. But not all parents are bad parents.
I don't believe for a minute that public school teachers feel threatened by us in general. Not many of us could do what they do.......but, some of them can't do what we do either.
I do think they are fed a line by many teacher's unions and if you hear something often enough it begins to sound like fact.
So live and let live. Most teachers are wonderful, self-sacrificing individuals, caring, great role models and terribly unappreciated. The ones that are not should be somewhere other than a classroom. But there are some homeschooling parents who should quit that as well. So people are people.
PS--It was a public school teacher who told me I could homeschool, told me it was best for my oldest, and the principal who held my hand and said if I ever needed anything....they would be there. My oldest is now a college graduate.
And when my youngest was born later, with special needs....those same public school teachers and principal were a great support and my cheerleading section. His special needs assessor and I shared ideas, fears, successes, and mutual respect.
We need to approach each person we meet in life as an individual and not prejudge them.