I taught in a school for five years. I had experiences where the parents were so thankful for my hard work and so appreciative of how I taught and cared for their kids. While I was flattered and appreciated the encouragement I didn’t fully understand it. I also had the opposite. I had students with controlling parents who didn’t trust me to do my job or didn’t believe I had their child’s best interests at heart. I have to admit that this was just as foreign to me. I didn’t appreciate their inability to let go and to trust, okay let’s be honest it infuriated me at times.
Today I dropped my daughter off at preschool. I suddenly realized very acutely what those parents from years ago felt. I love my daughter’s preschool teacher. She is kind, gentle, passionate about the students, understanding and patient, all of the qualities I would want someone working with my children to have. I also felt nervous. I wasn’t in control of her circumstances. I couldn’t control what other kids might say to her or how they might behave towards her. I didn’t have control over the things she would hear or the lessons she would be learning and that was a little scary.
I heard many of my fellow teachers say that they changed as teachers once the had kids. It is true. I have a lot more compassion for parents and have a greater understanding of the incredible responsibility of teaching and caring for someone’s kids and the incredible honor that parents gave my by placing their kids in my care.