Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pinky, We're Going to Take Over the World!

Well, it’s almost time to begin the new day. In a few minutes I will gather my hand-picked students, chosen for their unique gifts and abilities, and start them on their daily lessons. That is the position of Tracy, a teacher writing on a Wall Street Journal community forum. In her post, Tracy wrote:

Homeschooling - I have no problem with homeschooling, but please don't compare that with my job. There are VERY FEW similarities. If I had only 3-4 self-selected students to educate in the comfort of my own home with any bathroom/food/physical activity/food break and could set my own hours and discipline appropriately, etc. etc. etc ------ I could get even better results than those parents. If you don't believe me, then please fund that study and I will be happy to participate. I will even take 10 students.

She discovered our secret. Homeschoolers self-select only the best students. This self-selection process skews the results of home education unnaturally higher than those of our public school counter-parts. Tracy is such an incredibly talented teacher that if she would do the same, her homeschooling performance would be better than the rest of us teacher-wannabes. I’m stepping up today to raise my hand and admit, “Guilty as charged!”

I self-selected only the best students for my homeschool. I did not simply accept the children that God gave me. I self-selected a girl with a congenital heart defect. She’s a stroke victim with learning delays that caused us to hold her back one year in school to better prepare her to complete the first grade. It gave us time to help her gain the ability to hold and manipulate a pencil. Nothing screams “academic success” like repeating kindergarten! I self-selected OCD Boy. He’s the child that must ask the same question three times in a row before hesitantly accepting the same answer given three times in a row and gingerly moving forward through his exercises. If he had his way, I would be holding his hand through every question on every task that he completes. His ability is high. His self-confidence is low. I even self-selected Walter Mitty, my teenager whose hold on reality is tenuous on his best days. I wanted him to possess a genuine talent for mathematics coupled with a genuine loathing for the subject that allows him to stretch even the simplest math assignment into a five hour marathon.

I’m a bit of a sadist that way.

I’m fairly certain that if I asked my homeschooling friend Daniel, he’d admit that he self-selected autism for his oldest boy. Teaching a non-autistic child would be so…mundane. I’m quite certain that most of the thousands of the parents who homeschool their special needs children would agree. And those homeschooling parents who chose “normal” students? Selfish bastards. All of ‘em. They could have self-selected special needs children, but nope, they opted for normal. And we all know that normal homeschooling children never act up, disobey, sass, fail to complete their work, fail subjects, miss deadlines, lose assignments, daydream, lollygag or repeatedly make the same mistake that their parent-teachers have explained to them over and over and over again until they are banging their heads on the refrigerator in frustration. It never happens because those traits have been self-selected out of normal homeschooled children.

It’s time to let the world in on a little secret. Homeschoolers hold all the secrets to manipulating DNA in order to produce only the best possible students.

Pinky, we’re going to take over the world!

Or maybe…just possibly…Tracy has no idea what she is writing about.


Michelle said...

I think I missed the line to get the most cooperative children. My almost teen takes 98 hours to complete 20 math problems. It used to be thirty, but I took some out. My just turned 10 year old refuses to learn her math facts and has just finally started working on her reading really well and just started moving into chapter books. I must have hit the jackpot with girl #2-she's obedient and a good learner. I'm sure she'll be swayed by the dark side at any moment. The three year old likes to cut hair and color on the walls and her one year old sister likes to climb on the tables and put things down the toilet.
And if I leave the room for five seconds they are all fighting.
Yep, I won the best students jackpot!!

Michelle said...

and the one year old was just washing her sister's brand new shoe in the dog's water dish....

Brownie said...

"self-selected" PHHTT!

Kathleen said...

I'm guessing Miss Tracy would be willing to live with these 10 children 24/7/365 as well? Just to, you know, show how easy it is.

jugglingpaynes said...

Why doesn't Tracy homeschool? That would be awesome! I have lots of friends who were former teachers that decided to homeschool their own. One pulled her kids out after she retired and stated that her only regret is that she didn't do it sooner. My friend adopted her kids, so I guess they are hand picked, so to speak.

Of course, Tracy has some work to do if she wants to home educate ten kids. I wonder how many she has right now? :o)

Peace and Laughter,
Cristina, who had no say in the selection process for her three kids, but admits that she did put in a request.

Papa Bear said...

And give up a paycheck? And pay to rent her classroom? And purchase all books and materials out of her own pocket?

L. said...

I love this blog. Well said, Arby.

Papa Bear said...

I thought you must have a hidden camera in my house. Did I mention that, along with autism, GL has OCD? And after he asks the same question 20 times, I ask, "What did I say?" He repeats my answer verbatim, then asks the same question again.

And your "Walter Mitty" describes BB to a T!

I must have forgotten to fill out the girl with a heart condition page. Either that, or they're so popular, they're backordered. I seem to remember requesting twelve little blessings who were all candidates for Mensa, Mr. / Miss Congeniality, Most Diligent, Most Likely to Succeed, and sainthood. Ability to run a 4 minute mile while still in high school optional. Instead, I got my kids. I wouldn't trade them.

Some Guy said...

You forgot one of the other perks of homeschooling - the Wisconsin state government isn't going to cut back on your benefits if you're a homeschooler.

Marlis said...

LOL, is this woman for real? Open mouth=exit garbage?

Apparently I 'handpicked' a severely allergic child who had to stop attending school because of it. Who knew?

Paul "No Can Do" McEnaney said...

Ya know, I would like to have seen some biting sarcasm peppered into this post. hahaha.

Admittedly, I am not a teacher or a Homeschooler. However, like Tracy I believe that if given the ability to "select" any ten students I also could net pretty outstanding results...and then go win the March Madness Tournament as I would undoubtedly "select" the KU Basketball Team for my classroom.