I don't have kids of my own yet. Well, other than the hundred plus ones I teach a day...
I will, eventually. It's on the ten year plan (house, ring, wedding, puppy, kids) but I'm not there yet.
I know that when I'm in both the teacher and mom role, I'll be a difficult parent. I won't mean to. I'll just want what's best for my kiddos. They'll go to kindergarten with lots of lap time and book/letter awareness. They'll know their names and how to write them. They'll know how to share (kind of), how to sit for story time and their letters, colors and shapes. They'll show up with all their necessary supplies and extra tissues for the teacher, because I know we always need those. I'll make sure homework gets done and see how I can help in the classroom. I know what my kid needs and have constant conversations with the teacher to make sure we have positive, open lines of communication because ultimately, we are a team. Sorry in advance to those teachers, I mean well! I just want my students to have the best possible teachers.
I wish more of our kids had parents like the one I want to be. I also know that the "traditional" family structure is now any combination of loving adults (which is awesome).
This year, I have two students whose mothers work in our school, one as a teacher and one as an instructional assistant. I must say, the extra pressure is tough some times! It's nice that they're on my side when teachers are bombarded with slightly ridiculous norms. It's nice when I need to have a quick parent-teacher chat because someone didn't do her reading homework...(it happens).
But it's also scary. They are familiar with the standards and know the testing pressures way more than the average family. They know what's at stake and I can't let them down. I can't let any of my kiddos' families down.
I was confiding in one parent that it was nerve racking to have her baby because I wasn't sure I was the best teacher for her. I was worried I wouldn't prepare her enough for middle school.
She tried to hold back her laughter. She reminded me that she brought her daughter to our school specifically so I could teach her. Not just grade level standards, but teach her daughter to fall in love with reading. She'd subbed my class before. She'd worked with this group of fifth graders and knew how talkative they are. But she also knew that I was the teacher she wanted, she trusted with her beloved daughter.
Talk about pressure!
Luckily, I think I've exceeded her expectations. Her daughter is excited for our small group novels and loves reading to her mom in the car. I'm glad I've made an impact. I'm glad I have her parental approval and support at home.
I'm glad I've made her munchkin into a bookworm :)