BALDRY, Betty




Author Tags: Education

After 30 years of teaching elementary school, Baldry wrote Home: The True School (J.M. LeBel Enterprises), in which she encourages parents to educate their children at home or consider delaying their children’s entry into the school system. "No matter how compassionate and conscientious a teacher may be," she wrote, "it is only a parent who gazes in wonderment upon a child and takes an irrational interest in his most normal and quite-to-be-expected performances." Baldry is also the author of Homo Benevolens (Ptarmigan Press, 2001). She lives south of Campbell River.

[BCBW 2003] "Education"

Home: The True School
Article



THEY SIT INSIDE CEMENT BUILDINGS, IN A competitive atmosphere, at the mercy of tired custodians. They respond to electronic bells. And they are physically immobilized during a period of their lives when freedom of movement ought to be a prime factor in their development.

They are our schoolchildren. "How much good social contact would adults enjoy," asks retired teacher Betty Baldry of Campbell River, "if they were placed 30 to a room under varying degrees of irritating, stressful or idle circumstances for a great part of six or seven years of their lives?

"Even if they were placed 30 to a room under pleasant circumstances, they would soon begin to feel the stress of the closeness:' After 30 years of teaching elementary school in B.C., Baldry has concluded that elementary school is less necessary today than at any time since school originated. So she has written Home: The True School (J .M. Le Bel Enterprises $9.95).

It's a book about teaching and learning adding up Baldry's experiences and spelling out the importance of respect and freedom. And it's also an encouragement for more parents to teach their children at home or at least to consider delaying their children's entry into institutionalized educational systems. "No matter how compassionate and conscientious a teacher may be," she says, "it is only a parent who gazes in wonderment upon a child and takes an irrational interest in his most normal and quite-to-be-expected performances.”This show of phenomenal interest gives a boy or girl the confidence required to face life with assurance and stability:' It's not only what you learn -it's how you've learned it.

[Spring / BCBW 1989]