I am the proud mother of two intelligent and creative preschool girls. I like to think that I’m a pretty good mother, but a conversation I had on Twitter the other night got me thinking – what if I reflected on parenting the way I do teaching? So I decided to post some of the key questions teachers should ask themselves, then answer them from a parenting perspective. Parents are, after all, their children’s first and most important teacher.
Are you knowledgeable about the topic you teach? Well, when I’m teaching potty training and table manners, I think I’ve got it covered. When they start asking me why the dog had to go to heaven, I just wing it.
Do you know your students well? Do you know their likes/dislikes? Do you know what motivates them? I know that my oldest wants to be a princess-doctor and maybe one day be the Queen of Canada if she can do it without leaving home. My youngest likes to run away (if I yell while she does it, she likes it even better), and she doesn’t like any type of clothing. If you think of motivation as what will get them to do what I want them to…I have no idea…none.
Is your classroom an inviting place for kids to be? If this is really asking if my house is clean, I’ll pass on the question.
Are you providing exciting, meaningful experiences for your students? Most days yes. We cook together, go for walks, visit the zoo. On the days when I need a break I call in an excellent substitute: Dora. Or Diego if she isn’t available. Don’t knock it; Sami can count to ten in Spanish.
Do you have a fair and consistent discipline policy? Yes, time-outs for everyone. And lots of them.
Are you an active member of a PLN or seek professional development opportunities? I do have a PLN (AKA Mommy Group). Mostly we just reassure each other that our kids are normal and we aren’t bad mothers. That and trade tips on potty training.
What are your strengths? What do you need to work on? My strengths are that I love my kids, everything about them. I think they are perfect and I want nothing more in life but for them to be happy. I work hard towards that goal. Things to improve? Everything. Don’t all parents want to be the perfect parent?
Teaching gives me time to reflect; parenting doesn’t. I have vacations and summers and planning periods while I’m in school. My kids keep going without a break. I love my students. I want the best for them. But when the leave on the bus on the last day of school, I don’t find myself running after them, or crying, or even missing them once I am on break as well. My kids…I miss them every day. I dread the day I have to give them up. Teaching is only personal to a part of me; parenting is me. Forget sitting around answering questions…we’re going to the park.