Welcome to your September Pro Tips! Do you have a burning question or burning sensation? Either way, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll let you know what your problem is.
Refugees are flooding into Europe, more than a quarter million people have been killed in the Syrian civil war and ISIL is a pervasive and persistent threat to the stability of the Middle East and beyond. How do you see this playing out?
The violent upheaval engulfing Iraq and Syria will pause briefly this spring when media outlets report Sunni moderates sweep every category of the X-games, confusingly becoming totally radical.
My wife and I are considering homeschooling our children. They’re approaching school age and we’ve been reading all of these articles about terrible teachers and the horrors of public education, standardized test cheating schemes, teacher/student/janitor love triangles, ugh, the list goes on. In short, we’re terrified and frankly, we think we can do a better (and safer!) job. Obviously, this will be a big project, so we’d like to cover all of our bases before committing to a decision. Your input and advice is greatly appreciated.
Stacey and Leigh
Dear Stacey and Leigh,
I’m guessing you’ve already shopped this idea around some to your friends and family, so I’m sure I’m not the first person to tell you homeschooling is for absolute nut-jobs. I applaud your research (?), but I’m afraid you may be suffering from something psychologists call confirmation bias. It’s true, there is a surplus volume of shitty teachers out there, but that’s because very few people are actually qualified to serve as educators, even among those trained specifically for the task. If so many trained professionals are not especially good at it, what makes you think you two yahoos, without any training whatsoever, will manage to excel where so many fail? Never fear—I know why: it’s because you’re assholes! Probably, anyways.
Look, public education is one of the actual glories of the modern world. Even hundreds of years ago, America’s pioneer children risked life and limb to trudge their way to some frontier schoolmarm in a shanty in the middle of nowhere to get all learnt-up. Which is to say, even people who had good reason to actually consider teaching their kids at home found it preferable to have a professional do it. A professional, mind you, who was out in the fucking boonies because there was plenty of work to be had, because even crazy people who gathered up their families and left civilization knew schooling under the tutelage of an actual educator was preferable to the alternative.