Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Golden Rule

One of my amazing co-teachers was remarking on my patience this morning. Compared to the other teacher with whom we work closely I am not even on the scale, I am so impatient. However, I think I have become more patient, and more loving, as a teacher in the past few years.

I credit this to being a parent. There are many times that I think about how I would want my daughter's teacher to respond to an issue. I want to believe that I treat my students the way that I want my child to be treated. That is the bar I set for myself. (I know my daughter's teacher, however, and I don't even come close to her. She is not only exceedingly patient, she is astoundingly happy at the same time.)

Paul Bogush's recent post reminded me of these thoughts. It's not quite the same idea, but it triggered my thinking. As always, his thoughts are well worth reading.

By the way, I don't believe that only parents make good teachers. I taught for five years before my first daughter was born and I think I did a pretty good job. My daughter's teacher is not a parent. I just think, that for me, becoming a parent strongly impacted the way I respond to my students.


Katie Dicesare said...

I have to agree that having taught before and after children that I also respond differently. For me it was understanding the what it felt like to love unconditionally and then knowing all kids need this including the kids that have for only moments, months or years in the classroom. I also think my change came from the wonderful teachers I have had the honor of working with over the years. And yes, many of these teachers do not have children. I also don't believe parents only make good teachers. Being a parent was one milestone that helped me grow. Sorry I went on and on...I off to check out the link.

Sarah said...

I don't have kids yet and I've often wondered how/if it will change my teaching or my perspective as a teacher when I do have kids someday!

Paul Bogush said...

I totally agree. Having kids totally changed my teaching. Especially as my kids got closer in age to my students. What also changed my teaching is having to deal with my child's teachers and school. I realized how powerless parents could feel. In one case how two weeks with one teacher provided them with "better" information than my previous ten years of experience! I deal with parents soooo much differently now. It especially bugged me when brand new teachers would disregard anything I said, it was as though having 20 more years of teaching experience worked against me.

But I also agree, you don't need kids to be a great teacher. One of the greatest teachers I know, and probably the most influential in my life does not have kids. What he does have is true empathy. Sometimes you have it, and sometimes it takes a five year old waking you up in the middle of the night three weeks in a row for a glass of water to get a person to begin to be a bit more empathetic ;)