Our very first teachers, often our very best teachers, are our parents, siblings and other loved ones in the families into which we are born. This is true in every culture.
The better we are taught by our earliest teachers, the better prepared we are to fully benefit from the “professional” teachers by whom we are taught, when we enter and progress through schools, universities, etc.
It has become generally acknowledged that persons who do not receive loving, nurturing comprehensive “teaching” in their earliest years, while in the bosoms of their families, are likely to experience learning deficits that may not be overcome in later years of organized schooling.
It is for this reason that efforts are underway to provide universal pre schooling for children throughout the country. I don’t believe that anything can compensate for the spontaneous, natural “teaching” that parents and family members automatically provide to children, during their first few years of life.
It is during those earliest years that we learn some of the most complex and essential things that we will ever learn. We learn to walk and talk. We learn to interface with other persons. We learn the fundamentals of life survival skills.
The honoring of teachers and the motivating of students to value their education are among the very best things that can happen in any culture. I do not believe that there is a cultural group, anywhere, where in these two inseparable occurrences do not take place spontaneously and naturally.
It is most unfortunate, however, that parents and family members are not universally acknowledged to be our first, often most critical, teachers.
Imagine the positive impact on schooling and education that might eventuate if a string of events such as the following were to occur:
(1) The indispensable early teaching roles of parents and family members became fully recognized, encouraged and supported by local schools;
(2) Local school personnel provided parents of newborns, as requested, with the best information, on instructional methodology, and child-rearing and development, etc.;
(3) As children matured and developed, school personnel formed partnerships with parents and family members to facilitate the transitioning of children from home-based to school-based early childhood education;
(4) The harmonious partnering of parents with school personnel in the schooling of children continued at least throughout elementary school, to the extent that it became universally accepted and expected.
Isn’t it likely that successful implementation of events, such as those described above, would help to increase respect and appreciation for teachers (both those in the home and those in the schools)?
Isn’t it likely that students would develop greater appreciation for their educations, as they experienced dual encouragement, support and instruction throughout their schooling?