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Being a Teacher’s Kid

I just responded to a blog post about being the child of a teacher with these comments. I thought I would share here. 

Good things about being a teacher’s kid:

1) It made me Smarter.

My dad made us read with a “trying out for a play” theater voice when reading aloud. Our grammar was always corrected.  He trained us round the clock by quizzing us. (He still does this and I am a mom now. He does this with me, with my husband and with my kids.) We learned to solve math problems without pencil and paper (mental math)! We learned the 50 states and their capitals for fun. We discussed science, art and grammar as commonly as most people probably discuss popular culture. We made learning to spell trendy (at least inside the family). Learning, memorizing and quizzing is part of our family culture. Reading and discussing good books is a part of our way of life, too.

Correcting papers made me learn even more. I started helping my dad grade papers, like math and spelling papers, in 3rd grade, even though he taught 5th. I learned a lot. It helped me to be better at math and spelling. It helped me become good at reading sloppy writing and I even explained in the margins why they missed a problem. This also helped me sympathize with teachers. I learned percentages well figuring out what percentage the kid got right. I learned which was an A and which was an A-. I learned that my dad did not believe in giving an “F.” Instead, he had me write, “Incomplete.” He said he would give it back to them. In addition, I learned about the struggles of some kids and the compassion, understanding and downright unconditional love he had for each child. I always got to come help my dad set up in the fall and clean up in the beginning of summer. I helped him de-junk if he let me and learned all about how much he loved every subject and why.

2) I Understood teachers better. 

I got to rub shoulders with teachers and see them after school, when they were “themselves” again. I got to see the friendships between my parents and their co-workers. There is a really big difference between who they were when the students are there and who they are when the students were not. It is actually like they change from someone like superman, into someone like Clark Kent.

I understood what standards and objectives were and why they were important. My parents talked about them all the time. This helped me to understand that there were certain things to learn, on a check-off type list. When I became the parent of a pre-schooler, I went and got the standards and objectives for kindergarten and first grade, from the internet, to use as a guide. When my first child was in kindergarten, I downloaded all of the curricula through 6th grade. (That is why I have pre-common core standards for my state on my home computer. I will e-mail them to anyone who requests them).

3) I never needed a tutor.

I never needed a tutor because I had a parent to replace tutor, at home. I was good at all subjects because when I wasn’t, I got help immediately. One time, my dad asked the teacher if we could take a “do not take home” textbook for science so that he could read it with me. It took my grade from a D- to an A in no time flat, and I stayed on top after that.

4) I got to help with fun things.

I got to help make bulletin boards and sharpen new pencils.  I got to write and tape names on desks and crayons. I got to stack up each child’s school books Health, math, language arts, science, social studies and so forth. I got to help arrange the desks. I got to see the classroom looking new and delightful for the first days of school for nearly every new school year! My mom started teaching later in my life. I got to help her with the above, plus with making birthday bags, which she thoroughly believed in. It was so much fun to make those.

5) My parents’ schools were second homes to us. My parents’ schools were second homes to us. We spent a lot of time there. I even got to go use the school’s stuff after hours. One night when my dad was working and I was in high school, I used a school computer to write a school report. In college, I used the overhead projector to trace a drawing really big, on a big bunch of butcher paper, to paint a mascot on the University football field for home game. For family game night, we sometimes went to the school and played crab soccer with the giant ball.

Being a teacher’s kid was great!

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