Educational Field Trips for the win!
Something I hear often as a homeschooler (and if you homeschool, you’ve heard it, too) is “I could never do that!” And I always think, “How do you know unless you try?”
You see, I never wanted to be a teacher. I’m sure that would surprise my little brother, who I used to make sit on our playroom floor in front of a large chalkboard, with his classmate stuffed animals, so I could “play teacher”. But when it came time to choose a major, teaching was the last thing on my mind. I was a writer, not a teacher.
But I guess it’s part of my DNA. My dad was a teacher, my grandmother was a teacher, one of my aunts was a teacher. I was destined to be a teacher. I just had to figure it out. And homeschooling helped me do that.
It hasn’t always been an easy road. There were times I wanted to drive my sons to the nearest school, throw them through the front doors, and yell, “Here, you do it!” But I didn’t. And along the way, I discovered something.
Teaching gives me joy. I love sharing my passion for literature with my students at co-op. I love getting to know my own children and how they think in our school room at home. And it is a joy to see a student who was struggling finally “get it.”
Teaching is satisfying. There is nothing like helping a young person find their voice. And what a tremendous satisfaction to hear those students’ success stories, to be told, “I never got literature before and now I love it!” Or a Facebook message – “Mrs. Hege, I tested out of freshman English thanks to you!”
I love the relationships I’ve been able to form with my students. I get to know them through their writing and class discussions. And I get to know their parents, too. We’re all in this homeschooling thing together! We have an amazing community where we support each other, love each other, and pray for each other. Without that, I’d probably have given up.
That brings me to the need. Some homeschooling moms just don’t know how to teach literature and writing, or they really feel the need for outside input about their children’s writing. Every year as our co-op plans next year’s classes, three or four ladies will approach me to ask what kind of literature I’m teaching or to request that I do my research paper class again. I won’t lie, it feels good to be needed!
None of this could have happened if I had said, “I could never do that.” Once I figured out that I was good at teaching, that I actually loved teaching, I looked for every opportunity to do it. And the more I do, the more I feel that I am right where I’m supposed to be.