Just like Clark Kent in Superman, I take off my glasses to change my persona. Except I’m not a superhero, I’m a Mom. When I take off my reading glasses, I switch from teacher-mode to mommy-mode. Just like Clark, it is not that easy to separate it all that cleanly. Most days, I am teacher and mommy to both my children and my students. And, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I taught for several years before I had children, I left for 8 years, and now I am finally back and doing what I love. But now I am older, and have an entire family at home. This does not come without a few minor complications. Teaching when you have children has it’s ups and downs. I have found that doing both has made my life so much richer. I am a much happier Mom when I get to teach. And, I am a much better teacher now that I am a Mom.
Reasons why I am a better teacher now that I am a Mom:
- EVERY student is somebody’s child. They all have family at home that love them dearly and want the best for them. They all have people who are proud of their accomplishments (or hurt when they mess up). A dear “mommy” teacher friend told me this before I had kids. I listened, but now I really understand.
- Class discipline? Get serious. Nothing can touch 3 children under four screaming – alot. Nothing that happens in the classroom can really “ruffle my feathers” after surviving the antics of three little BOYS under one roof – for several years. (And, this is coming from someone who taught in the inner city the first few years of teaching.)
- I don’t take it personally. Living with small children has really taught me that kids usually don’t mean the bad things they say and do, they are just angry or hurt. Kids can have crazy tempers that they just let fly because they haven’t learned to control that yet. Plus, they get over it quickly.
- It is usually not about YOU, it is about THEM – too little sleep? bad fight with the sibling? not enough breakfast? Your brother just poked you in the eye? Yes – you are upset now, but it isn’t about ME, it is about something else. And, it will be forgotten in five minutes.
- I don’t care if I’m cool now. I’m older, I have kids. I’m over it. It is so much easier this way. Don’t know how (or when) this happened to me but I’m so glad it did. I guess I just grew up!
- Organization – This is do or die when you have kids. You must organize or you drown in a complete time suck cycle.
- Almost everything can be made better with food or rest. If it can’t then…
- ABOVE ALL you have to make time to listen to kids. Almost everything that is left over can be made better by just letting them talk to you and telling you what is wrong. You don’t even have to solve it. You don’t have to even talk, you just have to listen. Then, once again, don’t try to solve it. Just tell them that you are sorry. It lets them know you care.