Great Credentials Do Not a Great Teacher Make

This blog is a follow-up to the one I posted yesterday:

NOTE to all of my GREAT teacher friends: This EXCLUDES YOU! So if the shoe doesn’t fit, please don’t wear it :)

I have observed this particular phenomenon for a while now. My youngest daughter attends a dance studio here in town. She’s been taking  dance classes for 5 years now and we’ve changed studios twice. I see in today’s topic  a disturbing trend and one that not too many people want to discuss. Did you know that as teachers we have the potential to mentor our students? Let me define the word mentor-

MENTO’RIAL, a. [from Mentor,the friend and adviser of Ulysses.]

Containing advice or admonition.


When I went to school there were a few teachers that I still remember well. They were not only interested in doing their job to impart knowledge to me. They went a step further and  mentored me. Yes, I understand that in the large classroom sizes of today, that is difficult.  Back then, our class size  ranged around 25 kids per teacher, and some of these fine teachers I had took the extra time with me .

The one characteristic that stands out the most of my teachers that I remember with great affection is that they were there to set the right example for me. So naturally I was under the notion that a good teacher can be a great role model. And  I see this quality lacking in a lot of the teachers at my daughter’s dance studio.

The students are required to adhere by a strict dress code and yet the dance instructors shows up in whatever they felt like wearing to class that day. Many times I’ve wondered if they even ran a comb through their hair before they left the house. Why bother with the dress code then? That was what all 3 of my daughters asked me when they were all taking classes. I could hear the frustration in their voices and I saw how the teacher not following her own rules demoralizes her students.

Another great quality that all of my favorite teachers possessed was that they respected me not only as their student but also as a human being. They never talked down to me or made me feel less than the child I was.  I have lost track of the times my girls have come home from a dance class, completely discouraged because of a callous tongue, icy disposition or indifferent attitude from their dance instructor. When I addressed this issue with the owner of the studio, she just blew it off and assured me that my girls needed to “toughen up” because this is how it goes in the the dance world!

I laughed at that because my girls are pretty tough cookies already who can hold their own. The owner proceeded  to tell me about the credentials of the teachers there and that they were “lucky” to be trained by  professionals with such clout. Really?

So it’s acceptable to be a nasty teacher with a mean temper just because you trained at Julliard and danced with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater? I was far from impressed and I let her know it. Folks, how can teachers demand respect from their students when they are not setting the right examples for them to follow. Children look to their superiors for guidance and if non is offered they turn a deaf ear.

Teaching is not just another job you  show up to  so you can collect your paycheck . If you don’t care a hill of pinto beans about children, if children repulse you and if you have zero tolerance for them, then perhaps you need to find your true calling. Teaching is a higher calling like that of being a parent; that’s why it’s so undervalued and under paid.

This post is dedicated to all the wonderful teachers I had throughout my school years:

Sister Margaret- St. Francis School- 1st grade

Ms. Mary  Ellen McClellan- St. Francis School-3rd Grade

Ms. Molly Gillard-St. John’s- 6th Grade

Mrs. Carol Kane-Bitburg American Middle School (BAMS)-6th Grade

Mrs. Reece- BAMS-7thGrade

Mr. James- BAMS- 8th Grade

Mrs. Betty Meyers-BAMS- 8th Grade

Mr. Griffin– Marshall High School10th Grade

Ms. Andermatt- Marshall High School-11th Grade

Mr. Walter Collis- Marshall High School- 11th,12th Grades

Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication! I never forgot how much you cared.


A girl at school was just kicked off the soccer team because another class mate complained to the school officials that said girl would not be friends with her. Now the school officials are accusing the swimmer for being a bully. Who is the real bully here?

I just recently was kicked out of a church. Yes, you are reading correctly! My family and I are not allowed to come back to a certain church because I refused the pastoral counseling being offered to me. That was the main reason for our having been banned from this church. The other reasons are of no lesser significance: I was also told that the pastor did not like some of my views on this blog. Hello! The 1st Amendment guaranteeing my rights to freedom of speech were infringed upon. Lastly I was  told by this same man that my husband and I had to meet up with some key people he had already designated for us because we needed to learn from these people how to be “Godly parents”. Apparently this pastor is under the impression, that after  raising 4 great kids together for the past 22 years that we’ve been married, we haven’t a clue as to what we’re doing. 

Folks, when your kids were younger did you ever try to pick out their friends for them? That’s crazy right? So how can a school and a pastor even think that they have any say in whom a child or two adults choose to associate with? It’s a MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD and that madness has creeped into some churches.

Perhaps the best thing this pastor did by banning us from attending his church was to spare us any further hurt by him. Now THAT’S a silver lining on my cloud!

Unlock Treasure

My 3 girls attend dance lessons at an academy. They have teachers they learn a lot from and other teachers they don’t learn much from. Do you want to know what is the difference? I will be more than glad to tell you! The teachers my kids consider good and they can’t wait to see week after week are teachers who impart to them in a noble spirit; they are patient with the students and supportive. When they correct the students they don’t tear them down with harsh destructive criticism; they use constructive criticism to build up the student  thusly, the student grows. The other teachers are the complete opposite and they wear down the kid’s morale. Oh I’ve heard it from other grown ups that at times harsh critical words can aid the student in toughening her up and giving her a back bone. I disagree. ” No one has yet to fully realize the wealth of sympathy, kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of true education should be to unlock the treasure.” –Emma Goldman This quote shows me that in order to bring out the best in our children we need to value them and nurture them , it doesn’t work any other way.

School Defined

I am so excited to be here sharing about one of my passions in life. I love to teach and my decision to stay at home in order to home school my 4 kids was the best career decision I ever made. My husband and I met when I was still a college student and as we dated, he told me one day that he could see me teaching our kids if we ever decided to get married and start a family. I was flabbergasted because I really didn’t see myself as he was seeing me. So I finished college, we took the plunge, we got married, started our family and I made a career change, one that I have never regretted.
So here I am 16 years later and I’m starting on this new venture; a blog about home schooling! Have you ever wondered what the word SCHOOL means? One day a few years back while I was helping my kids with some of their school work we decided to look it up in The Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary; School, n.[OE.scole, AS.sclu, L.schola, Gr. leisure, that in which leisure is employed, disputation, lecture, a school, probably from the same root as , the original sense being perhaps, a stopping, a resting.
Something occurred to me as I read that particular definition of the word school. I began to see that children learn best in an environment where they aren’t being rushed to learn subjects that they may not be ready to grasp. Look back to your own school days. Can you remember learning a new concept in any subject and the frustration that came when you didn’t get it and then the teacher had to move on to the next new topic and then you felt completely lost? That was my experience in a lot of the math and science classes.
The good news is that home schooling caters to each childs’ individual style of learning. Whether you have 1 or 10 kids, each one of them learns at a different rate and in a different way; home schooling allows for children to learn in a leisurely way without the pressure of being forced to move on to higher levels of comprehension that he or she may not be ready for.
Enjoy your day, enjoy your life and enjoy teaching your kid/kids!