Sunday, October 9, 2011

Teaching vs. Parenting

I began teaching fresh out of college at the ripe old age of barely 23 years old.  I learned a lot in my first few years, but becoming a parent has taught me more about my job that I ever thought it could.  I'm sure that as Evie begins school and I have to deal with teachers from a parent's perspective, I'll learn even more. 

So far, here are a few examples:
  • I don't sweat the small stuff as much as I used to.  (This one is a work in progress.)
  • I feel more confident talking to my students' parents because now I am a parent myself.
  • I am more organized.  I have to be.
  • I know how my students' parents must have felt about them when they were babies.  This makes it easier to be compassionate.
  • I am not as quick to judge my students' families.  I truly believe that every parent is doing the best they can with what they have.  I have to trust that each family is doing the right thing for themselves, even if I don't agree with their choice, or it's not what I think I would do. 
On the contrary, being a teacher did have a impact on my choice to become a parent, and also how I will raise my child.  I imagine that everyone thinks, "I'll definitely do/not do fill-in-the-blank  when I have a kid," but teaching has shown me that it doesn't always work out that way.  No one can control anyone else, even (or maybe, especially) his/her own child.
  •  Teachers (or coaches, etc.) can give you a fresh perspective on your child.  I mean this both positively and negatively.  Some parents have a jaded view of their child as an angel or a devil.  If a teacher tells you something unexpected about your child, go home and talk to your child about it.  You might be surprised.
  • Evie is fortunate to have everything she needs, two loving parents, and a stable home.  This helps when it comes to education, but it doesn't equal a ticket to the ivy league.  She is not entitled, nor does it mean that she will automatically be a good student.
  • I know what to expect if Evie is eligible for services for exceptional needs.
  • I will speak to her teacher as though they are the expert in their own classroom.  If/When we disagree, I will be respectful of him/her as a professional.  
  • I will try to be realistic in my expectations of my child.
I'm proud to be a public educator, and Evie will attend a public school.  We're still not sure if it will be in the district where I teach, or in the district where we live.    I hope that being a teacher will help me have a balanced outlook on her education, and I'll probably even learn a thing or two about my own job in the process! 

    No comments:

    Post a Comment

    Let me know what you think!