The Harris kiddos struggle with this big time! They are the inspiration of this open letter to all teacher’s kids out there!
Dear Teacher’s Kid,
I’m sorry! I am yours and only yours, but I am also the teacher-mom to my class as well. When I was called to be a teacher, it came with the understanding that sacrifices would have to be made. I’m sorry that some of those sacrifices are at your expense.
School Memories – There are many times that all I want to do is have class coverage so that I can stop and enjoy Mommy moments with you such as school parties, eating lunch with you, volunteering in your classroom, seeing you at school dances, and attending all of your field trips. While I will do my best to attend each and every one of these, it isn’t always possible. Know that even when I’m not there, I want to be. Don’t be sad or make me feel bad. Just know that when I do sneak away from my room to attend these with you, that you have my undivided attention.
Where’s the sleeping bag? – I know! I know! You eat breakfast at school, lunch, snack, and at times junk food to substitute for supper. Many afternoons, you would love to have a pillow so you could just lay down. My hours aren’t like other parent’s with 9-5 jobs. There are times when I leave work and bring home four bags of papers to grade or projects to work on. It’s hard to get it all done for my students. I’m sorry that you feel like school is your primary home (since we spend more time there during the week). I promise that the time working at school is much needed for my students and I will try to do a better job of managing my work time so we can spend more time at home.
Homework Stress – I’m sorry for being so short tempered with you when you are working on your homework. After a long day of working with students that struggle, it is sometimes hard to help you and not overanalyze your every response and answer. I just don’t want to see you struggle like students in my class. When you miss a word as you are reading to me, I sometimes see my students instead of my own child. I will try to do better when explaining the pronunciation or meaning of the word to you, without sounding like your teacher. I am your mom and not your teacher.
I’m here! – Even though it is really hard to be the child of a teacher, remember that I am always here for YOU. You can come to me no matter what you need, anytime of the day. If you just need a hug, reassurance, ice cream money, or a kiss for a scrapped knee from recess, I am here and just a few doors or hallways away. It is much easier to find me than it is for other students. I promise that I will never roll my eyes when I see you knocking at my door. You brighten up my day with your visits and my students love seeing us interact.
Your Mom AKA Teacher
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My son struggles with this as well …. its tough for both of us, especially since I am a Single Parent… sigh
LOVE this letter though!! Thank you for sharing it!!
Thanks fro reading and commenting! Karen, you have it twice as difficult as a single mom. Hats off to YOU!
Awesome. Thank you! Both my parents were teachers. They are retired now and I am a mom with lots of kids. Still, it was therapeutic to read it. Ha ha! I thought ai was the only kid who had to live like this. ai suppose not.
From the perspective of a grown-up person, I will make you feel better.
I started helping my dad grade papers, like math and spelling papers, in 3rd grade, even though he taught 5th. I learned a lot. I think it helped me to be better at math and spelling. It helped me become good at reading sloppy writing and I even explained in the margins why they missed a problem. This also helped me sympathize with teachers. I learned percentages well figuring out what percentage the kid got right. I learned which was an A and which was an A-. I learned that my dad did not believe in giving an “F.” Instead, he had me write, “Incomplete.” He said he would give it back to them. In addition, I learned about the struggles of some kids and the compassion, understanding and downright unconditional love he had for each child.
I always got to come help my dad set up in the fall and clean up in the beginning of summer. I helped him de-junk if he let me and learned all about how much he loved every subject and why. I loved helping him come up with unique ideas for bulletin boards and helping him make them. I got to rub shoulders with teachers and see them after school, when they were “themselves” again. No kidding, there is a really big difference. It is actually like they change from superman into Clark Kent.
I never needed a tutor because I had a tutor at home. I was good at all subjects because when I wasn’t, I got help immediately. One time, my dad asked the teacher if we could take a “do not take home” textbook for science so that he could read it with me. It took my grade from a D- to an A in no time flat, and I stayd on top after that.
I understood what “standards” and “objectives” were and why they were so important.
My mom started later. I got to help her with the above, plus with making birthday bags, which she thoroughly believed in. It was so much fun to make those.
I had to really laugh when you said something about school being a second home. My parents’ schools were second homes to us. We spent a lot of time there. I even got to go use the school’s stuff after hours. One night when my dad was working and I was in high school, I used a school computer to write a school report. In college, I used the overhead projector to trace a drawing really big, on a big bunch of butcher paper, to paint a mascot on the University football field for home game. For family game night, we sometimes went to the school and played crab soccer with the giant ball.
Being a teacher’s kid was not all bad stuff. There ws a lot of good stuff there!
Oh my word! I love this comment!!!! My fav so far! Makes my teacher/mom heart feel so much better!
My son and I shared third, fourth and fifth grades! When asked about the best thing about having a mom as a teacher at his school, he always replied, getting leftovers heated up. I’m thankful that my coworkers always made it work for us to share moments and I try to do the same now for my coworker. I have had several teachers kids in my classes and they always get an extra piece of my heart.
Thanks for sharing this Kim! It is a huge blessing. Right now my four year old is at school for the first time and just can’t quite understand why I have to be shared with other kids. He has always been a Mama’s boy 🙂 he has a lot to learn
This is the sweetest!!! 🙂
Thank you so much!
This tugs at my heartstrings. I have a four-year-old, and he already knows when the bag comes home, it’s time to grade papers. He’s asked to help for a year now. I let him put happy faces on the papers. He feels like he’s a part of everything, and my students enjoy the extra touch because they know it’s from the little boy in all the photographs.
That is so sweet and such a great idea!
Thank you so much for this. My son is in middle school and I teach first grade I could go on and on about things that occur because of our current situation but I won’t. I will tell you that he has begged me to start teaching at the middle or high school level which I think is sweet. However the greatest part of being a mom/teacher is watching their reaction when he makes the occasional appearance. They treat him like he is a super star and he treats them like they are his little sisters and brothers.
Precious Christy!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂
My girls are now in their 30’s, and all 3 of us can relate to your letter. Thanks for sharing!
I am a teacher’s kid, and this sums up my entire childhood… I’m now 23 and recently finished college, but this post really touched me. Means a lot because I could totally hear MY mom saying all the same things. Great post!
Thank you so much for commenting! I love my job, but I love my kids more!
My children are 26 and 28, and I still feel bad about these things!! Please, please make sure you do spend that time with them — soon they will be gone! The big consolation for us was that my children came to me when school was out and we could talk about their day (after I got the last stragglers out, of course). They didn’t have to wait until supper was made, practices were done, etc. Even though, I was still “working,” we spent a couple of hours a day together (10 hours a week, that they might have been at daycare). They “helped” me, too (made my art samples, “corrected” work, put stickers on books, etc) , but they also got to play in the gym, tease the janitor, and work on the computers. The “rainy day” toys were always available to them. I can’t count how many times my husband has quoted this to me: Nobody ever died and said, “I wish I had spent more time at work!” However, my kids know they are loved and were always in my heart!
Love this! I certainly cherish the moments we have that normal moms don’t get! I sneak up on them at lunch or in the hallway for a quick hug. 🙂
So, so true!! I went back to work almost two years ago after being home my son’s entire life. After 2 years, I”m calling it done. He’s my only child and I’d rather be only his. There will always be time to work later when he’s older. I commend all working moms, and I understand first hand how it feels to be a teacher mom. I honestly don’t know how moms do it. It’s a really tough balance!
Thanks for commenting Misty! Congrats on being able to stay at home!
This is great! Random question! The pink backpack the girl is wearing…. Where or what brand is it?
I was a teacher’s kid from the first day of kindergarten until I walked the stage at graduation. Two teachers’ kid, actually. I can see how a teacher/mom/dad would feel the way you’ve expressed in your letter, but just so you know, it still hurts like hell. I graduated high school 23 years ago and I still catch myself feeling bitter about choices my parents made, putting their profession above their children. I, too, work in education and had my child in my school with me for 3 years. On countless occasions, I encountered situations that my parents would or did handle in the above mentioned manners. Every time, I chose my child over my job. It still stings to remember the nights spent at school until 6 or 7pm because mom had a meeting or dad had game. Getting in trouble at school for yawning all the time because I was at school late then had to be back at school at 6 the next morning. Grading papers for hours instead of helping me for even a second with my homework. I know that’s the job and that’s what teachers sign up for when they accept the calling, but the kids don’t have that choice. Please be a parent first. Your kids deserve it!
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