Do as I say, not as I work

November 16, 2010

There are many dichotomies in this world and one that I find profound, are those friends and acquaintances that are teachers in the public school system. When these friends became parents, they had their own children be home-schooled or privately schooled.

What? My school friend’s dad worked for a beer company, and every chance we got, we indulged in the product that his company made and that he brought home for his family! My cousin was a sales person for a food product that again, we all ate and gave to friends. These employees used their own products. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?

In my pre-parenting years, I began to view these “teacher friends” as having no ethic. Why would anyone work at a job that they wouldn’t “feed” to their own children?

I was so idealistic back then.

When I became a parent, this experience made me look hard at the options available for schooling. This is where I came upon Waldorf Education. It turns out that this dichotomy is widespread and there are many who would not “feed” their own children the products of their work. Here is an excerpt from an article about the technological giants in our world and what they are doing for their children:

“It’s easy to imagine the typical Waldorf parents in the Bay Area: some earthy-crunchy-green types, some old Deadheads sipping kombucha and driving Priuses. And it does have its share of those. But you’d be surprised to learn just how many Waldorf mothers and fathers come from the exalted world of high-tech, like Yost does. In fact, a significant number of parents at Greenwood—and at San Francisco Waldorf and the Waldorf School of the Peninsula—work at some of the very companies whose products the Waldorf schools train their students to avoid. Their ranks include an executive speechwriter at Google, a former Apple marketing manager whose job it was to get computers into classrooms as early as prekindergarten, the chief technology officer of eBay, a cofounder of legendary children’s-software maker Broderbund, and the CEOs of several high-tech startups—all folks you might expect to enroll their kids at schools like those in Tiburon’s Reed Union School District, where even kindergartners get lessons on computers. Instead, these digital-age parents have opted for a homespun environment where children handwrite their own textbooks, learn to knit in first grade, and spend two years in kindergarten communing with gnomes and fairies (no ABCs in sight). Then these parents push against the currents of the culture and their own industry by continuing an anti-tech lifestyle at home.” (Read the article in it’s entirety here, http://www.sanfranmag.com/story/tech-gets-a-time-out )