Contrary to what it takes to be a teacher — years of training, hours of continuous professional development, constant updating with the latest technologies and innovations as well as with innovative methods of teaching — the job of parenting is not confined to set attributes.
This brings me to ask myself: Are the roles of mother and teacher interchangeable? My mind replies, it is the teacher’s role that’s dominant as compared to a mother’s.
Once a teacher, always a teacher.At the school, as a teacher, I dare say the parent avatar rarely has the temerity to surface. Particularly with my own daughter who also studies there.
The reason, and you know the answer to this — is, how could I possibly want to favour my own child over others’?
In many situations have I consciously chosen someone else1 regarding for privilege over my own daughter? Always. How many times have I proposed another student’s name over my own child’s? To give my daughter credit, she understands my reasons. I am always humbled by her maturity in understanding my role as a teacher who must uphold fairness above all. Despite my inadequacies, I am grateful to god that I have been blessed with such an understanding child.
Now shift to home ground. It’s the end of a tiring day and I am ready to tear my hair out. I have a carton-load of school work to finish which means I don’t really have much time to spend with my child. I hope that she will somehow cope with my rather work-occupied self even at home and carry on with her homework. I don’t push her as I know the consequences of needlessly pushing children. I see it all the time at school. I let her be and tell her to do her best.
Initially, when she was in the kindergarten, the idea of being with my baby even in school was the proverbial fat, juicy sweet carrot. Same school days, same holidays. Pure bliss. Today, we both need a break from each other. The overdose, the overkill, is not required.
A couple of days ago, some teachers were hysterical because my daughter had played the wag for one whole period. I was aghast. How dare she? Why did she do it? That was some nerve for ‘a teacher’s daughter’! Apologetic, ashamed and deeply embarrassed, I sought out the reason. It turned out she was guilty of saving an injured stray cat, dressing its wounds and feeding it.
Teachers guide their students along the voyage of self discovery. School is the arena where young minds discover their potential, resilience, courage and nurture it. Every student’s victory and defeat, joy and sorrow, disappointment and rejection, elation and exhilaration are shared by teachers. It is a journey that we undertake together.
Strengths and weaknesses
My daughter, like so many others, is also on the same path. As she samples from the smorgasbord of school life, she is beginning to flutter her wings, testing the wind and preparing to fly. As her teacher, I am watching her growth with pride; as her mother, I quietly murmur a prayer for her success. But the two entities, teacher and mother, don’t always make for perfect partners within me. As a teacher I recognise a student’s strengths and weaknesses and steer him on the road to success. I respect his decisions and value his opinions. In the classroom, my entire being reaches forward to mould my students as responsible, ethical citizens of tomorrow.
But as a mother, I tend to be doubtful and a know-it-all. Whenever I look at her, I wonder where the years went and if I will live to see her soar and fly. To me, she always my little baby and the fiercely protective maternal instincts that want to cocoon her forever stalk my footsteps wherever I go.
As a teacher, I have realised a few things: Teachers’ children can suffer from the same pitfalls as anyone else’s. There is no magic dust a teacher can sprinkle on them to make them special.
Sometimes, in the lull that is gifted to me between playing the roles of a teacher and mother, a single thought blooms in that space: Have I spent enough time with my daughter? Or have I spent more time worrying about other people’s children? Is my daughter in some way paying the price of being a teacher’s child?
I have no answers. Only the best intentions: for my daughter, and for all my students.from gulfnews.com