It’s not the teachers’ fault.


We home educate, but we are not anti-school. In fact, I have a growing concern for teachers and schools.
Schools are expected to teach children the skills, values and habits which families are responsible for. You only have to read the outcomes and indicators in the NSW Board of Studies syllabuses to see this (if you live in NSW, I recommend you do!).
The education system seems to be based on the assumption that families don’t grow children to be competent adults. It is expected that parents do not spend time with their children, doing real activities, having real conversations, explaining the way things work, reading books, playing, learning how to talk appropriately, how to listen well and how to behave safely. It is just accepted that most families will not have this role anymore. Schools are being given a responsibility they are not built for. This reality certainly carries significant political weight (I found this proposal about school based before and after school care amusing – “getting the best start in life”, really?).
This means increasingly unfair pressure on teachers as the government finds ways to hold them accountable for the weakness of families. When children aren’t performing well, the solution is not to whip teachers harder and make them jump through more hoops. We need to diagnose the problem properly. The root of this problem is planted in families and culture.
A school is not a family, and it is not school’s fault when kids are not learning what a family is designed to teach them.
Of course, family rehabilitation and cultural transformation are not something the government can do. Jesus, on the other hand…