Tuesday, February 7, 2017

being a teacher, and a mom

game changer.  the minute my daughter walked into a classroom as a student.
everything that I've ever thought about teaching changed in an instant.
to all you protective mama bears out there, I get it.
I get it in a way I never thought possible.
but I also found myself seeing both sides of everything.
great empathy for the teacher, but still, knowing I wanted my child to have the best first school experience possible, I remember thinking, why couldn't my daughter just have that teacher?!?
And so it began.

Everly started pre-school in the fall, and at orientation we quickly found out her teacher was brand new.  Never taught a day in her life.  Breathe, just breathe.  I remember thinking, "you were a good teacher your first year, just give her a chance".  She seemed enthusiastic, and quickly the parent questions started flying, especially from those returning to the preschool for their second year.  Yes, I remember that.  I remember trying to fake answers that I clearly had no idea about.  "Are you still going to have Super Stars?  Last year, they had Super Stars, is this continuing?" The question, blurted out, and repeated, and repeated once more, and the teacher...already flustered.  Not a great start.

She lasted three class sessions, and was gone.

This past weekend I had the 'involved' parent experience of lining up in the wee hours of the morning to get your kid into 'that' school for the following year. [feel free to exchange out the word 'involved for one of your choosing, I get it]  Yes, there were sleeping bags, and rain, and lots of episodes of the crown on netflix, and eating cold pizza at 4 a.m.  It was that moment.  As the hours went on, the wives began showing up to replace their husband's spots in line, and so the conversations began.  So many times I had to bite my tongue, because, once again, I was finding it so hard to separate myself from being a teacher, and just be a parent.  What, you don't know what a Title I school is?  Wait, you don't know about open-enrollment?  You haven't heard of that school?  These are my thoughts. Because I'm IN this.  I'm so invested in my career.  This is MY district.  I've worked at that school, and with that person, and in that program.  And now, it is my child, and invested is an understatement.  Oh geez, how do I not sound like a crazy lady when talking to the other parents, the non- teacher parents?!?  Not sure.

Teaching in a program that is highly sought after, just like the school I was trying to get my own daughter in, really made me realize that so many times, these 'parent talks' were very much about me. And my teaching style, my strengths, and my weaknesses.  I knew that it happened, but being on the parent side of things just felt strange.  Because I've been a teacher for ten years, and a mother of a student for not even one year yet, I'm finding this balance between the two roles very challenging. And I know that so many others must have felt this way too.

And so, I have now enrolled my daughter in one of the most desired elementary schools in the district, now this next chapter will begin.  One notion that I believe to be true is that I will always find myself balancing between mom and teacher, never really being able to be completely on one side or the other of these roles.  And that will take some navigating. Now I'm off to process that I've registered my daughter for school, officially.

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