Things I’m learning as a parent because I’m a teacher

Some days I feel I learn more about being a parent now that I am teacher, than I do about teaching. Every day, I walk out of school and say to myself “I will not do [insert that day’s revelation] with my own kids”.

So far, some of the things I have learned are:

1. Make the kids eat breakfast before they go to school – they won’t learn anything without food in their belly.
2. Coca-cola and a bag of mixed lollies is not a good breakfast – they won’t learn anything and they will be totally disruptive in their class ensuring no-one else learns anything.
3. Don’t make them decide what they want to be when they grow up, until they actually grow up. They are allowed to change their mind from day to day, week to week and year to year. It is not imperative that they know what direction they are headed in when they are 12.
4. Don’t take responsibility for their mistakes and don’t tell them that mistakes are not allowed. It is OK for them to make mistakes. Mistakes are good, mistakes are how we learn, mistakes allow us to build resilience. Instead of encouraging them to cry and rip pages out of their book to hide the mistakes, teach them to accept the mistake and be proud of themselves for noticing that they had made a mistake. Repeat after me MISTAKES ARE GOOD!
5. No, it really isn’t funny or OK to draw penises in the book of another student, no matter the brilliant level of artistic talent they are displaying.
6. Drink bottles should contain water, not another top up of Coca Cola or Fanta to give them energy through the day. A healthy sandwich and a piece of fruit will do the job nicely thanks.

That is today’s life lessons for this parent who happens to be a teacher. Stay tuned for more life lessons.

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3 Comments

Filed under Teaching

3 responses to “Things I’m learning as a parent because I’m a teacher

  1. mamadestroy

    I agree completely! The main thing that I took away from teaching, that has been instrumental in my parenting, is encouraging and expecting my children to do things for themselves. When you are managing a classroom, you need to delegate a lot of the small organizational tasks to your children and trust them to be responsible for their own possessions and area. When I became I parent I was a bit shocked at all the parents out there who I saw doing every little thing for their children– buttoning their coats, helping them put their shoes on– things a teacher would never have time to do for all of the children, so she needs to train them to do it themselves. I was a cooking teacher for several years and I taught very young children to chop and work at the stove. I KNOW that children are very capable little human beings, and I have found, as a parent, that encouraging the same level of independence and responsibility in my own children, that I did in my students has made things immeasurably easier for me.

    • Very good advice about the cooking. I make my boys pack their own school lunch each day, and they now make their own breakfast. They know that if they don’t have lunch, it is their own responsibility, and they only ever forget the once! It makes it easier for me, and they in turn become more self-regulated students. A double win 🙂

  2. Beautiful advice. I especially like the part where you emphasize that they’re free to change their minds about work. I really dislike adults who keep forcing kids to “Have a direction” instead of allowing them to simply be themselves.

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