My friends have children that are now just becoming teenagers. They asked me some ‘simple’ questions about what they can do with their child, as their children seem to have certain troubles in school. I started talking and didn’t stop for 3 hours. This happened on more than one occasion, and each time, my friends begged me to teach a class or a workshop, offering this information.
Much of the info is completely logical for a teacher, but for whatever reason, this ‘common sense’ eludes parents.
One of these friends told me that he insists on doing all the complementary work necessary to get me to teach a workshop.
At first, I was hesitant, but with a little bit of flattery and insistence, I got the message that there are quite a number of parents that are interested. I think any teacher might feel obligated, as a pedagogues by vocation, to impart this knowledge. I’m in a somewhat fortunate position, as I don’t depend on any schoolboard or on parents for my day to day livelihood. This allows me to say things the way they truly are, without doing the diplomacy-dance.
So, I started getting my things together. As I was doing so, I spoke to another teacher about what I was doing.
The other teacher thought it was brilliant, but was afraid that I was revealing ‘secrets’ that would make teachers mad. I didn’t really see the point of this teacher, but I did understand that some teachers (especially insecure ones) could see me as a threat - a threat of divulging to ‘mere parents’ that we, as teachers, refuse to put in ALL the work of raising their children and if parents don’t put in an effort also, that we shouldn’t.
Discussing this subject, this other teacher agreed that I’d be saying nothing that wasn’t true, but that there would probably be resistance.
It is a few days later that I thought of asking the collaboration of all the great teachers that I know. This way, the parents (audience) will be able to hear it ‘from the horse’s mouth’; my fellow colleagues will not be upset with me, as they become collaborating members and accomplices; and who knows, maybe they could think of a parent or two that would benefit from a 3 hour workshop that would facilitate and improve their lives and the lives of their children.
I sent out messages to the most phenomenal teachers that I know and I’ve been getting gems of information ever since and most of them offered to help further in whichever way they could.
This ‘insignificant’ project seems to have gained quite a bit of momentum.
The goal is to teach a workshop as a crash-course of the most valuable information that a parent can get, to help them and their children to be as successful as possible in our school systems.
I have teachers from the Middle East, from the US, from Europe, and from all over Canada contributing to this knowledge. I’m planning on using and sharing every single contribution I’ve gotten.