What being a parent has taught me about being a teacher

Like any profession, and really anything in life, there is always room for improvement. I’ve been teaching now for 6 years, and learn something new everyday. Once I became a parent my outlook on teaching really started to evolve and transform, and I saw my profession from a whole new perspective. The following things are just a sampling of the ways I’ve grown as both a teacher and a parent.

  1. Patience, patience, patience. If there is one thing I would pick out, it would be that parenting demands an infinite, inconceivable amount of patience. As does teaching! Just when you thought you couldn’t anymore, somehow you find the patience to deal. There are days I feel I don’t have any more, and then it regenerates itself, as needed.
  2. Repetition, repetition, repetition. Children learn by constantly repeating things. Whether it be in learning a language, or learning behavior rules, children of all ages need constant repetition to fully learn these concepts. It can be quite annoying to feel like a broken record, but it’s just the way it has to be for our children to learn anything.
  3. I’ve learned how to communicate better with kids. They respond best to kindness! They mirror what you project to them. This teaches me not to be reactive to situations that are less than ideal.
  4. You know what qualities to look for in a babysitter. As many high school students are willing to babysit in a pinch, it’s important to gauge their good qualities in determining if they are worthy of the job.
  5. Both teaching and parenting keep you in the “know” of what’s going on in young pop culture.
  6. Both jobs teach you that life goes by way to fast. Kids grow up so fast, and the cliché is worth repeating every day. With this in mind, it reminds us to be our best person each and every day.
  7. Last by not least… when things get quiet… Always. Be. Suspicious. 🙂

In conclusion, I don’t cease to learn ways I can improve my skill as both a teacher and a parent, and it’s cool the connected relationship that they share. And as serious a subject as it is to think about what we can do to get better, it’s equally important to relax, have fun, and go with it! Children, to their parents or teachers, gauge the mood they’re in. I can’t say this enough; they mirror our attitudes. Our society thrives on this competitive nature of how we provide the best for our children – in what we feed them, the experiences we provide for them, how we raise them, what school we put them in… our attitude becomes less focused on them, and more focused on ourselves. We often lose sight of the big picture, which is to love our children, and not self-compare so much. If we do this as parents and as teachers, we’ll naturally do our best.

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