- Teaching in a Pandemic: Help Teachers, Help You - February 2, 2021
- The Importance of Feedback in Distance Learning - October 9, 2020
- What a Teacher Wants: One Teacher's View - March 25, 2018
- Artist is Not a Dirty Word - March 18, 2018
- The Death of Reflection in English/Language Arts Classrooms - March 9, 2018
- More Than A Teacher - March 4, 2018
- Real Teaching Resolutions - January 5, 2017
- 23 Times I have Questioned My Sanity While Teaching - September 7, 2016
- Part 3: Adventures in Real Word English/Language Arts - Let Them Be Great - August 23, 2016
- Part 2: Adventures in Real World English/Language Arts: Making Them Care - August 4, 2016
When you are a teacher there is so much added pressure when you have a child in school. Will they do well? Will you be judged by the teachers teaching your child? Will he behave? Will you have “that” child? Or will you be “that” parent?
As a working parent, you already have the guilt of not staying home with your children. We live a time where it does take two to make ends meet and frankly, you just can’t stay at home. There is nothing wrong with that, but it weighs on us. Then add a child in school while you are taking care of twenty or up to one hundred other children. Guilt happens.
There is a dreaded pounding in my chest every time I see the district email and my child’s name in the subject line. What did he do now? Or what did I forget? I study the tone of the email. Trying to figure out what she meant by this, is it more than what it says? I try to see things from “a teacher’s view,” but then “a parent’s view” comes into play and I am arguing with myself over something simple. I worry the teachers at my son’s school talk about me. She can teach English IV, but her son struggles with reading, how is that possible? I feel so bad that I am not like the other parents. The moms that send beautiful homemade cupcakes and all I send is juice or napkins. I have to be super-mom. I have to be super-teacher. Sometimes it gets to me. I cry. A lot.
Nightly, my child does his homework and I do mine: the grading, lesson planning, and the parent calling. The stacks of essays surround me while I try to figure my son’s homework, especially the math. He finishes with in twenty minutes and goes off to play. I want to play too, but I have sixty essays to grade this week alone and if I neglect them that means I will have one hundred and twenty to grade next week. Then I have to figure out dinner. I am spent.
I want to go on field trips. But I have my own classes to teach. I can’t leave them. If I could trust my students to do the work I leave, I could go to the zoo, but I can’t. Not when my coworkers have to take care of my classes when I am out. I want to go to parent teacher conference, but I have my own. So my husband goes alone. When we are young, we tend to worry about our careers, we fear that if we take off, we will be put on a list of people to be cut. Job security for teachers is not what it used to be. I admire our older teachers that take off to be with their grandchildren. They tell me it was a hard lesson they had to learn. I hear them, but I still stay and still feel guilty for doing so.
Everyone says well you chose this career, you knew all this. Sure you can “know” something, but experiencing it is something else entirely. I know our short summer together somewhat makes up for the school year, but even then I still have to get a sitter for professional development and meetings that happen during the summer. Can a few weeks of togetherness make up for the nine months of investing in other people’s children? I hope it does. I love my son, but I also love my job and my students. I want the best of both worlds. I feel guilty for wanting it all.