I’ve been a mom and teacher for the past 10 years. I love both roles immensely, but I never planned on combining them. I NEVER, and I mean never, planned on teaching my own children. I had seen it done by many mothers before me, and while it worked great for some, I didn’t want to put my children nor myself in that position. I never chose to homeschool my boys for a reason. They get enough of me at home, so I wanted them to have a “fresh face” every day at school. I also felt like they would learn so much better from someone other than me. I’m lucky enough to work at the school they attend, so plans had been made in advance for this to not happen.
Well, everything changed in March of 2020.
Not only did in person schooling come to a complete halt, but I, like millions of others, was forced to homeschool my children and do remote learning with my students. To say it was stressful would be an understatement. I was thrilled when the 2019-2020 school year ended and I looked forward to my boys starting out the 2020-2021 school year with teachers other than Mom. My oldest son was an upcoming 4th grader (the grade I teach), but thanks to our setup, he would be placed on the other team, and we’d moved along happily across the hall from each other.
As our happy summer rolled on however, the global pandemic threw another wrench in our plans.
Instead of having four 4th grade teachers like our school typically does, we were cut down to three. That meant I would teach every 4th grader in the building, including my son. I won’t lie…I didn’t handle the news well. I never intended to teach my children for a reason. Our personalities weren’t made for a teacher/student relationship. I also didn’t want to be accused of showing favoritism, so that alone kept me from requesting him for my class. We had no choice in the matter, so both of us put on our brave faces and started the school year together in August.
The first few weeks were an adjustment period for both of us, but once we got into the groove of things, having him in my class turned out to be the biggest blessing in disguise. As all parents know, children are a COMPLETELY different kid at school. It’s been so much fun to see his “school personality.” Let me tell you, it’s nothing like his “home personality.”
I know I’m biased, but it’s also been amazing to see how smart he is. I don’t see a lot of school work at home, so to see how he computates and figures things out has been eye opening. He’s also extremely responsible, and that’s another side I don’t see as much as I’d prefer at home.
Seeing him interact with his peers has been another thing I’ve loved. I know he’s quirky and funny, but seeing him make his friends laugh melts my heart. He’s a great leader and has some wonderful ideas when working in groups. He’s also not shy, which blew my mind. He’s typically my most quiet and timid child outside of school, but he’s not afraid to answer any questions and speak his mind during a discussion. Seeing him in his everyday school life has eased so many of my momma fears about him going onto 5th grade and middle school.
If you walked into my classroom on any given day, unless you knew us personally, you’d have no idea he was my child. He pretty much ignores me all day long unless I initiate an interaction with him. If there’s something he desperately needs, he’ll come to me for it, but other than that, he acts just like any other student. I definitely don’t show favoritism with him. In fact, he’d probably tell you I’m harder on him than any of my other students because I know what he’s capable of. On the rare occasion that he makes a less than stellar grade in my class, you better believe he hears about it when we get home.
All in all, despite our hesitation and worries, having him in class this year has been the silver lining to a very difficult school year. As a mom who never wanted to play the role of primary educator to her children, I tell you that it can be done…and it really is a beautiful thing. This is a time in his life I will never get back, and I’m so glad I get to spend every day with him, inside and outside of the classroom. I don’t know what will happen when his younger brothers make their way to 4th grade, but no matter what, I know we can handle it thanks to their big brother.