My friend Haemi asks:
The teacher's name was Mrs. Porter. She was a regular school teacher, in that schoolmarm-ish way. We were writing autobiographies. We had to present our works to the rest of the class, and I got up and started to read mine. I don't have the exact wording, but I remember reading, "I was raised ..." And Mrs. Porter, who was a hefty woman with cropped silvery white hair, was fuming. She proceeded to tell the class that I had just called myself an animal of some sort, because human children are "reared" not raised." One raises cattle. Or corn. One "rears" children.
Ever since, I had been extra careful in using the "raised" and furthermore, it makes me wince when other people use that word to indicate the rearing of children. Nowadays, however, I see that the term "raised" is frequently used to indicate the up-bringing of children, human or not, and even dictionaries state definitions to fit this. What is a person supposed to do?
So that's my question -- it's been sitting on the back of my mind for ages now!
I recall being chided for the same error—but in my case it was because I'd used "raised" in a book!
Having been, um, reared in the US, I had always used "raised" for "brought up children":
She was raised in a small New England town.
We raised three fine sons.
And of course I'd always used the term for animals and plants:
The family raised shorthorn cattle.
My wife raised a fine crop of scarlet runner beans.
And now that I check my Canadian dictionary, I find that it does include a definition of "raise" meaning "to rear (children, a family, etc.)"—but it also indicates that this is a "US" usage! So maybe your Mrs. Porter was a Canadian, Haemi.
I confess, though, that I've very rarely if ever heard "We reared three fine sons" here in Canada. This seems to be a case of rapid usage change, with "reared" turning into a purely formal term while "raised" is the term automatically preferred by most speakers and writers. It may well be that the American usage has moved north, regardless of Mrs. Porter's opinions.
Such changes can happen very quickly. When I moved to Canada in 1967, every Canadian home had a chesterfield in the living room. Now the same item of furniture is a couch.