You are not a teacher, you are a parent

By May 15, 2020May 19th, 2020Musings

The airwaves are filled with memes, gifs, (and a few drinking games!) from distraught parents overwhelmed with trying to navigate their work, life, fear, and the kid’s schoolwork. So, if it’s too much, quit. You are not a schoolteacher, you are a parent.

You are first and foremost a parent. You brought these little humans into the world and it is your job to raise them. To raise them to be good humans. You are your child’s first teacher. Your first touch showed them tenderness, and love. Your family rituals and traditions, the big ones and the little ones, telegraph your family values. They learn every day through your actions and behaviors, how to be in this world. So, give yourself a break.

An offer: Rather than focusing on what you are trying to teach, demonstrate what you are asking them to learn. Great teachers, of life and in school, tend to possess a few key characteristics: they are great communicators and great collaborators. They know how to listen deeply to the different points of need. They help people feel seen and valued. They believe in their capabilities. They are clear with boundaries and provide structures to help people feel safe. They love them even when they are not at their best.

As my daughter, Melissa, who happens to be a teacher, with a 7 and 9-year-old at home, told me, you are not home-schooling, you are trying to do schoolwork at home.  Control what you can control by expressing your values through love, tenderness and caring. Give yourself some grace. Focus on what you can teach them best, and know those magnificent humans, who choose to be schoolteachers, will teach them what is needed when school resumes.