Pros and Cons of Being a Teacher's Kid
I blogged yesterday about what it was like being married to the Secondary Principal. After writing my post the girls said to me that if I thought it was bad being the Principal’s wife then I should try being the Principal’s kids! I retorted if they think that was bad then they should try being the Principal’s kids’ mum! (By the way I’ve got no idea if the apostrophes are correct in the last sentence.) The joking around got me thinking about what it is like being a teacher’s kid. Like being married to the boss there are ground rules for being a teacher’s kid.
Our comments were largely tongue in cheek as the kids have had an amazing education for which they and I are truly grateful. I’d even go as far as to say that they’ve even enjoyed being teachers’ kids, especially Betsy. She cites the following advantages and disadvantages:
Advantages of Being a Teacher's Kid
Disadvantages of Being a Teacher's Kid
- You know that any misdemeanour is likely to get straight back to mum and dad. As a teacher they are always around.
- Other kids think you get away with murder when you actually have to be a good role model.
- If you win an award or get chosen to represent the school in some way other kids and even parents sometimes think it is ‘just because your dad is a teacher.’
- Whatever you do or don’t do tends to be scrutinized by friends, friends’ parents and sometimes even teachers.
- Your parents don’t let you break any rules. Teacher’s kids have to behave.
- You can feel torn between being loyal to your parents and using your right to a ‘student voice’ to complain about stuff.
- You are always having to stay late because your dad ‘is stuck’ in a meeting! It can be boring for teachers’ kids.
The girls say that as being a teacher’s kid is a fairly common phenomenon in international schools it isn’t really a big deal. I do agree but, like being the Principal’s wife, it has its moments …
Teacher's Kid Memories
Remember the time when:
- Your kid was upset because their friends had said they ‘could ‘get away with anything’ because their dad was ‘in charge’. The reality is that my kids felt they had to be squeaky clean or they would be judged more harshly than other kids.
- Your kid’s teacher took advantage of your close physical proximity to tell you every day for a term how they were not doing great in ‘x’ but were trying hard!
- You felt super guilty when your kid got a uniform detention about ‘too short’ shorts on non-uniform day or the day they got told off for too tight trousers. I had approved of both these uniform choices so should have taken the detention and the telling off! I maintain the clothing was fine.
- Your kid was embarrassed when kids were making fun of other teachers’ quirks as the same teachers were their parents’ friends.
- Your kids have had to be super grown-up (on countless occasions) and not say anything that could be used as ammunition by other kids, parents or even teachers. In effect they had to sacrifice their own right to a student voice for the greater good – whatever that is.
- Your kids have had to put up with the embarrassment of their dad speaking in nearly every school assembly and event.
It breaks your heart to see your kid sad at school, which can happen when you are also there all day every day. I’ve found that sometimes I’ve just have to speak up for my kids and risk the wrath of colleagues who might feel betrayed. Often though, being part of a system I’ve found it prudent to bite my tongue (and vent in an odd third person blog style way later!). It really isn’t the done thing to be ‘one of those’ mums!
Ultimately, I’ve found being a teacher’s kid’s mum has meant I’ve been able to see on a daily basis all of the truly fantastic educational opportunities the kids have had. I’ve had the knowledge to tap into everything on offer and been in the position of understanding most of it. Being part of a school that lives its mission, has a great teaching staff and a wonderful pastoral system intent on improving the well-being of all the kids has been as reassuring as it gets. All in all being the teacher”s kids’ mum has been a privilege.
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