Monday, February 2, 2015

My snow day. And a new perspective

I had a snow day today. What makes this somewhat different from past snow days is that I no longer teach in the district in which I live. That means while I had a snow day, my kids did not.

It got me thinking. Thinking about what today afforded me that I rarely, if ever, get to experience.

Today I got to walk my daughter to school.

Today I got to pick my daughter up from school.

And it was awesome.

As a teacher I tend to miss out on those little things. We run on the same schedule. I miss drop offs and I miss pickups because I'm welcoming my students, or dismissing my students.

Today I got to do that simple drop-off and pick-up that I've never been able to do. Because I had a snow day and she didn't.

As for the perspective, I think having experienced today I am more keen to what the education reformers are missing. Yes, they generally don't have teaching experience, no they've never been in the classroom. All that stuff I know, and usually ignore. What I don't think I've heard enough about is how teachers so often trade their role as parent for their role as teacher. How many teachers miss out with their own children because they are providing that experience for their students? How many children spend afternoons and weekends watching their parents plan, or spend time at the parent's school for functions or prep work? How many teachers have to pick and choose between the role of parent and the role of teacher?

Yes, parents of all professions work. No, it's not easy for anyone to take time from work, or juggle drop-off and pick-up schedules. But so many non-teaching professions offer the simple flexibility or time that being a teacher does not.

I think the thing that really hit me today is, as a teacher, the times I get to experience those little things with my own kids are few and far between.

I only hope I make my students as happy when they arrive as my daughter was to see her teachers today. I also hope for more of my own snow days so I get to just be a parent for a morning, and not a parent who's a teacher...

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