I have been teaching since the tender age of twenty-one. Fresh out of college I landed a position in a school where I completed my student teaching for my Bachelor’s degree. I always knew I wanted to have a family. As I reminisce writing this post I recall wanting four or more children. Teaching served as a lesson to me every single year, no, every single day! I observed parents and I remember using them as examples of the type of parent I aspired to be and the direction I knew I would not take. I wanted to share with you the three ways teaching has made me a better parent.
Learning from the mistakes of others
Everyone has their way of parenting. There is no wrong way or right way in my book but the way that works best for you and your offspring! I remember my own childhood and the language that was sometimes used toward me that made me feel a bit brokenhearted. I observed the language of parents toward their children, and quickly figured out what I would do and what I wouldn’t. I knew right from the very beginning I would not use, “shut up” in my household. Knowing how those words made me feel, and the looks on the faces of children whose parents used it right in front of me broke my heart! I learned that this was a form of belittlement and I REFUSE to go that route! I remember observing my own mother one day tell my oldest to “shut up” and quickly told her we would NOT be using that word and to please refrain from using it.
Having more patience with my children
Spending most of my days around children you learn a sense of patience. Every child is not the same and it takes others longer to grasp certain concepts and skills than others. Having that patience and being a teacher allows you to embrace the unique self of each child. When you have your own children you’re prepared for what is to come. Sure, it’s rough teaching all day and coming home to your own but thank goodness for that sense of patience. When I come home to my own children I am exhausted from my day but I am even more lenient because I know with the new standards and demands it’s not easy on them either.
I am even more organized
As each year passes I am even more organized and my OCD (Obsessive Compulsive) is in full swing. I live off of post-its and little reminders because this is what works best for me. I began this as a teacher to remind myself of staff developments during my prep time, notes home to parents that I had to respond to, reminders of trip slips, scheduled observations and notes I took of my learnings in the classroom. All this I have applied to my classroom. This helps me keep track of Carter’s snack day for the entire class, when lunch money is due, or even a note that I want to write to their teachers.
Teaching is a tough job but so is parenting. When combined together they are the most rewarding and quite frankly, without the added “drama” of the politics within the system it’s a great profession! I am thankful for the teaching profession because it has made me the mother I have been for the last ten years. I would not trade what it has taught me about being a parent for nothing in this world! I strive to be the best parent I can be every single day thanks to my years of teaching!
Care to share: What has made you a better parent?