My mom has been an early education phenomenon for over thirty years. She has poured her heart and soul into the hundreds of kids that have passed through her doors. One of those students was me. So the question is, what did I learn from being a teacher's kid, that has impacted my career in education? Well my initial response would be, what haven't I learned from my mom that has impacted my career as an educator? But for the sake of this blog, I will narrow it down to three.
1) Being an Educator is not a job, it is a lifestyle. I could always find my mom reading the latest research on brain development or speech therapy. I remember her planning through the summer and having conversations with tons of people about what they can do at home to further their child's learning. She always had time for family but she never turned off teaching mode because that's just who she is.
2) Each child is unique and it is our job to meet them where they are. Many teachers struggle with students and say, "they should know this." My mom was never like that. She had kids who were very advanced in the same room as students who didn't speak yet. It didn't matter because she always focused on meeting the students where they were and taking them as far as she could.
3) There are good days and bad, but if your students know that you care about them, learning will always prevail. My mom had some pretty rough stories from her years in the classroom. But she never showed any signs of giving up. No matter how bad the home life was, or how angry the child was, she loved them. That stuck with me so much so that I often find myself choking up when talking about my students.
I say all this as if she were finished but the truth is she is still teaching and working to perfect her craft everyday. I look at kids who graduate from the high school and smile because I know that some of those same students started with her.
So as the year starts, remember those three lessons I learned from mom. Because at the end of the day, we work to improve the lives of kids. Leading is Teaching.