I had a parent ask me if I was ever going to teach again.
Initially I was offended because for the last three years I have been killing myself to be the most effective prek autism teacher in Union City. The disconnect was easy to see after I took a breath, she only sees people working in school classrooms as “teachers”.
My most valuable teachers have been people who don’t work in classrooms. I had a sobering experience listening to a software engineer explain the complexities of morality from a car. I had a bodybuilder teach me about anatomy, diet, and routine from a gym. My wife keeps teaching me about professional growth from our home. None of these people use traditional classrooms, and more importantly, all of these people taught through their actions to back up their words.
When I taught in a classroom my actions were limited. I had to put all my effort into getting kids ready for their next classroom. While my students progressed, this didn’t always transfer into the home environment. Parents every year would be confused why their kid could sit in a circle time activity for twenty minutes but at home couldn’t sit for dinner for two minutes.
Over the years I realized I wasn’t teaching in the manner I had in mind when I entered into the profession. I wanted my efforts to benefit my students in all environments. The classroom, and the structure of the current education system itself was the problem. For years I complained that it couldn’t get any worse, then I decide to stop bitching and start taking some action. Since I have left the classroom, I have built my own tutoring business where I don’t have to focus on what’s best for the kid within the school environment, and I can focus on merely what’s best for the kid. This freedom has not only made me a far superior teacher, but all my new students can sit for dinner.
So keep in mind that if you help others, you’re a teacher, no classroom necessary. Any parents looking to help their kid, toss me some questions and let’s teach together.
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