Mom AND Teacher? Worst combo ever…

I love being a teacher. I love being a mom.

I’m NOT a big fan of being a teacher AND a mom. Someone should have warned me that this could be one of the worst combinations in life. I have one child who wants me to homeschool him – I have another who thinks I am the ‘worst’ homework helper of all time.

The problem is this…

When my children struggle at school, I’m doubly frustrated. School is my place, my soul. I still love going to school. So, it’s hard for me to understand why my children wouldn’t want to go to school. Check out some of the inner-dialogues that you teacher/mom and teacher/dad folks may find familiar…

As a teacher, I know he can be difficult. It is your job (as the teacher) to find a way to reach him. It’s what I do when I teach. I would put in much more work to reach this child. Is it unrealistic? Possibly. Probably. I say, “I would do this…” Of course I would, because this is my child, would I do that for the other 25 students in the classroom? I would like to say yes, I want to say yes – but the reality is, I’m not sure.

As a mom, I know he can be difficult. Trust me, I’m with him MUCH more than you. I have lived with him his entire life. I can also tell you his history. I can tell you what works and what doesn’t. I can tell you, that when he is mine – away from the chaos at school he is an amazing child of God. He is exciting, engaging, kind, polite – and really, one of the most awesome children I have ever had the pleasure of being around.

As a teacher and mom, I know he can be difficult. Please, do your best to reach him. Please ask for my help, I will do my best to teach you about him.

As a teacher, I know this math is challenging. However, if we don’t challenge our brain – we’ll never rise up to the next level. I know it’s hard, but you just have to do it. I know you don’t want to, but that’s just too bad. Get it done.

As a mom, I know this math is challenging. I also know that calculators exist for a reason. I know that I haven’t done long division in the past 10 years for anything. Seriously. Yes…I’ve divided cookies for class…I have 50 cookies and two classes. Each class gets 25.

As a teacher and mom, I know this math is challenging. Please, do your best to teach them and I will do mine.

As a teacher, I know school culture can be difficult. I decided long ago to never ‘choose’ my children’s teacher. As a teacher, I think this is crazysauce (an official term coined by me). In our lifetime we will have to deal with people we don’t like. Every day. All the time. So, why not take the opportunity to teach children how to deal with others at an early age – when sad tears can be fixed with popsicles and chocolate chip cookies.

As a mom, I know school culture can be difficult. As a mom, dealing with personality conflicts makes me want to scream from the tallest building! Stop picking on my kid, stop making an example – take some time and get to know my child. Get to know what makes my child tick, trust me…you’ll be better off.

As a teacher and mom, I know school culture can be difficult. Please do your best to help them, and I will do mine.

As a teacher, I know about ‘those’ parents. The ones who swoop in and save. The ones who make excuses. The ones who fight their children’s battles.

As a mom, I know about ‘those’ parents. I don’t often go to ‘battle’ because I’m terrified of being the very parents that makes me cringe. I don’t want to be one of THOSE parents. But…this is also my child. Part of my flesh and bones, part of my soul. I am obligated to advocate. I have their back. Trust me, when they get home I will deal with them in my own way…

As a teacher and mom, I know ‘those’ parents. Please do your best to support me, and I will do my best to support you.

As a teacher, I want the best for my children. As an educator this means – college bound. I have nightmares about them not going to college. I have nightmares about them not making the honor roll. I am a teacher – I expect academic excellence from my students…I should expect the same from my children.

As a mom, I want the best for my children. The reality is, my children may or may not be college bound. They may or may not make the honor roll. I have to find peace in that – but trust me, as an educator it is difficult. When I see other children getting 100% and straight A’s – it drives me CRAZY. I know my children are doing the very best they can. I didn’t get 100% or straight A’s…and I turned out just fine (at least I think so). So, what’s all the stress and the pressure about? Is it self-induced? Society induced?

As a teacher, homework is important. Homework is good practice. Homework allows us to work on skills independently and master skills that students may be struggling with.

As a mom, homework is important. Let’s be real here. I don’t remember homework in Elementary. I don’t remember my mom and dad sitting down and doing my homework with me. Maybe a couple times – but certainly not every night. WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH ALL OF THIS HOMEWORK!?!?!?! Seriously, after a full-working day the last thing I want to do is sit down and do long division for an hour while entering answers into some online system. Ready for this admission of guilt? Last night we were doing long division. We do the problems together and check the answers. If they get the answer wrong they have to redo an extra 4-5 problems. I get the theory behind that….but criminy…how frustrating. So, we check and recheck to make sure the problem is right. Last night? I got a problem wrong, my son got it right. He was convinced that my answer was right so he ‘re-checked’ his to match mine. Guess what!?!? I WAS WRONG! So, guess what I did? I’m about to admit something VERY naughty. I did 4 more problems to get him back to where he was before I screwed it all up. Yep. I did this. Great mom moment…sucky teacher moment.

As a teacher and a mom – homework is important. I will do my best to help him – please don’t make me feel guilty for not helping some nights or helping too much on other nights.

As a teacher testing is important. What other way do we have to know that students know something? What other way do we have to know if it’s time for them to move on to another concept? Education is about building, scaffolding of information. Knowledge builds upon knowledge (I believe I’ve said that in another post).

As a mom testing is important. Really? It’s dumb. When in my lifetime have I ever needed to identify the rising action and falling action in a story? When have I REALLY ever utilized the periodic table of elements that I had to memorize? The countries of Africa? What a waste. We have this thing called the Internet. If I’m REALLY interested in the abbreviation for chromium, I can ask Siri. For Pete’s sake…really, what a waste of time.

As a teacher and a mom testing is important…. as a teacher, testing is important. I’m still trying to convince the mom in me.

Maybe this is a larger issue with our educational system. We’re so busy ‘teaching’ all of this information, but what is its usefulness? This is the ultimate mom-teacher conundrum. I’m stuck in the very structure that is so irritating to me. I’m doing the very thing all day long that (at times) doesn’t make much sense.

Thankfully this conundrum guides my teaching – I’m much less ‘about’ what students can regurgitate to me – and more about how it applies to their lives. Isn’t that what we SHOULD be teaching? Teaching future generations to live better – live cleaner – live healthier – live more calmly – live peacefully?

Maybe, before I teach I should spend more time asking myself, ‘Does this make a difference?’ instead of ‘Do I make a difference?’

This seems to be the perfect integration of mom and teacher…taking yourself out of the equation while still wanting the best for your child…and everyone else’s children as well.

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