I have been teaching high school close to 10 years now. I have my Bachelors in Secondary Education and my Masters in Educational Leadership and as a teacher I deal with kids and parents EVERY DAY. Yes, even on weekends! I always say that if I wrote down all the little anecdotes that I deal with daily, I could make a ton of money; I really can’t make some of this stuff up!
Being a teacher and a parent can sometimes get difficult because I want to make sure I am not that annoying and overbearing parent. Don’t get me wrong, I love having communication with my students’ parents, but sometimes parents struggle with making sure their children take care of their responsibilities and not stepping in as a messenger.
My oldest is 9 and in the 4th grade, so he’s slowly starting to get more and more responsibilities at school. He’s done a pretty good job so far, and has only forgotten a couple of minor things. The first time he forgot to pick up a HW assignment, I was super quick to send an email to his teacher asking her to send it home with him and apologized for his forgetfulness. She obliged and sent it home. When it happened a couple of more times, I wanted to jump in and save the day for him, but I knew I shouldn’t. I can not not practice what I preach…if that makes sense!
I tell my students all the time how it is their job to come to school and be responsible for their own work. How can I let this be one of my mantras as a teacher, but not hold my own children to that standard? I have had parents who are teachers and I would say “They should understand!” when I get emails demanding to change grades or wanting to know why I wouldn’t accept work that was 3 weeks late!
Parent meetings can be difficult too because parents want to make excuses for their children, like we all do or want to do. As the teacher, I am ready to let a parent know exactly what is going on in the classroom, and they want to try and blame me sometimes.
We just recently had a parent/ teacher conference with my 1st grader’s teacher and I came in prepared. We have be blessed with a great teacher for him, but I knew that this meeting was going to be a tough one. Middle boy is very bright, but has some struggles that we diligently work on daily. I went into that meeting ready to have excuses for him and tell her how I thought she should run her room. However, as my husband and I sat down with her and we discussed everything that was going on, I reminded myself at that moment that I was the parent here. I listened and cried, cried, and cried some more. I had to be the parent there, not an educator, so I could make sure my husband and I make all the right choices for him to be successful.
I love my job as a teacher, I really do. I left teaching for two years when I became pregnant with our youngest boy, and I couldn’t WAIT to get back in the classroom. Because I am a teacher, I do have some insights, and I have to remind myself that I cannot be that parent; I want to be the parent that is in communication with my children’s teachers, but as supportive role. Because in truth, teachers are with our children more hours of the day then we are, and we must accept and appreciate the role they play in our children’s lives.
Every weekday I wake up, ready to tackle my day that is full with 180 teenagers. But, at the end of the day I am Mom to three beautiful and smart boys who need me and their dad to be in their corner. They need us to be the ones to hold the expectations that their teachers have laid down, along with ours. I find that this is part of the equation that will make them great men in the future. If I turn into a parent that makes all of these excuses for my cute boys, what example does that set for them? That Mommy will come save the day whenever they feel like not doing their work? Or because they felt the need to be disrespectful (they know better than that)?
I will continue to struggle with these blurred lines until my boys get out of school; I know I will. And once they get to the high school where I work, I will make sure they know that with both Mom and teachers in one building, we will be a team they don’t want to mess with!
TEACHERS…BLESS YOU and thank you for loving everyone’s children as your own. As of this year I have close to 2,000 extra children that I hold very dear to my heart, and I know that my 3 have been loved for the last few years by other educators and I thank you.