Tag Archives: parenting

From the Other Side

My oldest daughter started kindergarten this week. I’m finding the whole experience a bit surreal. First, there’s the fact that my daughter, who was just born yesterday, is starting kindergarten. She’s at real school. And the school seems wwwaaaaayyyy too big for my baby.

Then there was registration, especially amusing when I had to go to the station that I was working at my home school. The woman very patiently told me how to sign-up for Edline…just like I had been telling parents the day before. I left with a huge stack of papers, many that I had giving to parents at last years registration when that was my spot.

I walked into the office, but wasn’t allowed around the desk. I went into her classroom and was (nicely) escorted out so class could begin. I went home and logged onto Edline to get information…using my parent account. I couldn’t just call down to the office to check on her.

I had to do everything that the parents of all my students do, and it is nothing like I thought it would be.

This will be interesting seeing education from the other side.

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Minding the Store

I have to take a week off next week. Can’t be helped. Of course that means I have a ton of work to get done this week. So I brought the kids into work tonight.

This is what bringing the kids to work is like:

  • Arrive at 4:30, 15 minutes after the bell rings.
  • Give kids a snack (french fries) while I print out recent data reports.
  • Stop printing to divide fries into two cups since sharing is difficult.
  • Start correlating data for data board.
  • Stop correlating to see why kids are washing out fry box in classroom sink.
  • Continue correlating since fry box seems to be clean enough.
  • Take ten minutes to walk down hallway to data boards (lockers make cool noises).
  • Start moving magnets on data board.
  • Stop moving magnets to yell at kids to not move other people’s magnets.
  • Repeat magnet moving-stop and yell-magnet moving cycle until kids decide to see what under the boardroom table.
  • Come close to finishing magnet task when kids start throwing pencils at each other.
  • Break up pencil fight, continue with magnets while kids play tag.
  • Return to classroom quickly (coworker offered lollipops as a bribe).
  • Start imputing test grades.
  • Tell child 1 to turn light back on.
  • Continue inputting grades.
  • Tell child 1 to turn light back on.
  • Continue inputting grades.
  • Tell child 1 to turn light back on.
  • Tell child 2 to turn light back on when child 1 points out that it isn’t her this time.
  • Continue inputting grades.
  • Rush out of classroom to capture escaped child.
  • Give up hope of accomplishing anything else and go home.

Tomorrow, they come again. Sigh…

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The Teacher/Parent See-Saw

I know that being a parent has made me a better teacher.

I am more compassionate towards my students since I have a daughter that I hope people are compassionate towards. Especially since she pulled the fire alarm at her preschool. I am more concerned about creating lessons that my students not only learn from, but enjoy, since I have two girls that love learning now and I don’t want them to ever lose that. I more tolerant of parents since I know now the job isn’t as easy as I once thought. Most of the advice I gave to parents over the years certainly hasn’t worked on my kids. But mostly I want to be the teacher I want my kids to get.

I am not so sure that being a teacher has made me a better parent, though.

I have so much patience during the school day for students, that I seem to have very little left over when I get home. Patience is a requirement when raising preschoolers, and I’ve heard it doesn’t change as they get older. I am so tired of repeating myself period after period to students whose first question is always, “What are we supposed to do?” that I get easily irritated when one of my daughters conveniently ignores me when I tell her it’s time to go or clean up. I am so concerned with giving my students my complete attention at work that I leave myself no time for planning and grading. Then I have to take it either from the time I spend with my children or the time I sleep thereby worsening the whole patience thing.

I want to be good at both.

I know that it must be possible, but I just can’t seem to find the balance; the fulcrum keeps moving. Some days I am the better parent and falling behind as a teacher; others I am a better teacher but missing my kids in the process. I am always at the top of the see-saw waiting for the big drop. Here’s hoping the landing won’t be too hard on my behind.

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The Reflective Parent

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.

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