Teachers' children are not in the same position as their peers!
They may feel different, experience different pressures and perhaps the expectations placed on them may be different.
Of course, on the other hand, teachers' children may get away with more and be given more advantages. For example, a teacher may avoid dealing with teachers' children lack of achievement or poor attitude for fear of having to confront the parent.
We, as teachers, need to be aware of these realities. Certain questions will arise:
1. How should we confront the parent or a colleague's child?
2. How should we conduct ourselves with all the students when said child is in your class?
3. If the child excels in certain areas, but is genearlly not a good student, what should our course of action be?
It is vital that we never remind teachers' children that what they do reflects on their parents. We must separate the child from the teacher-parent. We must stress that what any student does, they do for themselves and not for their parents.
Teachers' children must realize that they are responsible for their own behaviour. That is the key to dealing with this professionally and in the best interests of the student.
However, when our child is the student, a different situation arises. We, as parents, must make it clear to our child that he/she will be treated as an equal with their peers.
But, we do not want to go overboard to make sure that everyone understands that our child is not receiving special treatment. This would be unfair to our child and could do more harm than good.
We must realize that all students should be treated for who they are, not for whose son or daughter they are. Students must be allowed to be responsible and accountable for their own actions.
It is important that we view each child on an individual basis. Three things that we should NOT do:
1. Use the teacher-parent colleague as a crutch.
2. Threaten to tell the parents every move the teacher's child makes.
3. Use the parents to gain advantage.
As a sidebar, personally speaking, there was a difference in the teacher parent conferences/interviews, whether you were the teacher or the parent. Perhaps you got more out of the conference because you spoke the same language and you knew what to ask or how to answer certain questions.
Teachers are like other parents - they have the same hopes, expectations and fears. However, we need to fulfill our responsibilites and trust that they do the same. And, if we break confidences with teachers' children, they will not trust us.
If we relate to them as we do others, teachers' children may be the students who appreciate us the most. Definitely, their parents will.
"What a heavy burden is a name that has become too famous." Voltaire.
Have fun during Valentine week. Enjoy the kids and the chocolates. Have a look at my page on Valentine classroom party ideas for some fun suggestions.
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