Teaching as a Mother
Teaching as a mother is quite different than I expected. I knew that I loved my students, their success is my success. But I wrongly assumed that once I became a mother my attention would shift. I thought that I wouldn’t have the same passion for my students, wouldn’t have the ability to put them first anymore. Before my daughter was born, I thought becoming a mother would take away from the teacher I was. And I was wrong, teaching as a mother has made me a better teacher.
Your Children Are Our Children
Have you ever listened to a teacher talk? There are times that you cannot tell the difference between their students and their children. I was once at a wedding, bragging about the wonderful triplets that I was teaching, when someone told me I looked good for having had triplets. I laughed and said there were my students, not my own children. But that is the pride we take in our students. Your children are our children.
We Give What We Expect
As a mother, I know that every child in my room is loved with the depth and passion of a mother. The trust that I have put into the people that care for my daughter has been put into me. I take that trust very seriously. Every child I work with is an extension of my own child. I work as hard as I can for them knowing that someone else is doing the same for my child.
Hope and Love
At the center of everything we do is hope and love. We teach because we truly care for and want to see children succeed. We wouldn’t deal with the educational bureaucracy unless we truly loved teaching children. As teachers, we cared about educated children before we even had them. Teaching as a mother has only intensified this feeling. It is not a job you would leave your own children for if you didn’t feel that way.
We Understand Both Sides
As a mother I want the best for my child, but I also realize that sometimes a child can make it very difficult to do that. Becoming a mother helped me see a child instead of just a student. When a child is just too frustrated to work and they begin to take act out in class, I see a child in crisis rather than a disruptive student. I can approach the situation as a mother there to support a child, rather than a teacher trying to discipline a student.
Who Comes First?
Of course my child comes first. What parent wouldn’t say that? In the grand scheme of things, who else will put my child first if I don’t. But when someone else’s child is in front of me, at that moment they come first. I stop every aspect of my life for them. The purpose of my career is other people’s children’s success. Teaching as a mother, I want to help them, educate them and care for them.
Becoming a mother has changed my life in the most amazing ways. I have a source of joy everyday of my life. I have the profound privilege of raising the most amazing little girl. But the unexpected change that came from becoming a mother was how much more love and compassion has come to my classroom. Teaching as a mother has made me a better teacher.
(Other thoughts on Teaching and Parenting here)