Sally Flint

Pros and Cons of Being a Teacher's Kid

These two munchkins actually enjoyed being teachers' kids, or at least I think they did!

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:

Being the teacher's kid means that you learn a lot of school values!

Advantages of Being a Teacher's Kid

  • If you forget your lunch money you can easily get some more.
  • If you’re having a rubbish day you can pop by your parents’ room at lunch for a bit of sympathy.
  • If you’ve got whacky friends who like saying hello to your mum and dad, then you can make this possible!
  • If you can’t be bothered to walk to your locker, you can dump stuff in mum’s or dad’s room or office.
  • If you haven’t printed your homework you can call on mum’s secretarial skills and ask for help!
  • If your parents’ colleagues are their friends as well then it is fun to watch them ‘in role’ as teacher! Teachers’ kids often know too much! 
  • If you are a good eavesdropper you can very occasionally catch a little bit of juicy gossip and relish knowing (but never sharing!) something you ought not to!
  • You know that your parents really ‘get’ what it is like being in school and will be empathetic of the study stress and peer pressure you are under. Teachers’ kids know a lot about educaiton.
  • You are never short of a lift home from school. Teachers’ kids don’t always have to use the bus.
  • 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 …
    The plight of teacher’s kids: “Why can’t you persuade your dad to let us have pizza in the canteen every day?”
    My own teacher's kids love watching The Big Bang Theory

    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.

    Times have changed. All four of us used to head to school and then there were three, two, and now just Mick 🙁 Photos courtesy of a sad Saint Mick of Thana.

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