We were teachers first.
We spent oodles of time prepping activities, building learning centres, labeling book bins, and planning out each lesson goal.
We wouldn’t leave until every little detail was perfect and then we’d enjoy a quiet night reflecting on moments spent teaching.
And then we had kids of our own.
Well, we still spend copious amount of time prepping and primping each little detail for our students. We still wake up in the middle of the night with ideas for lesson plans and reflections on the day’s events with our students. But we come home now to spaghetti noodles on the floor, bums to be changed, screaming spats to settle, bedtime stories to be read, and umpteem amount of parenting philosophies to practice, preach, or give in to.
Time may be spent reflecting on those years before, as well, but we wouldn’t change the way things are now for second. The trials of parenting, be as tough as they are, have, in many ways, made us better teachers. We’re grateful for every nose to wipe and boo boo to mend – every ounce of effort is worth it. It's brought a sense of real life and perspective to the job.
We tip our hats, or perhaps raise a glass (of coffee), to the parents we share this pride with!
Top 15 Things We Have Learned As Mothers That Have Made Us Better Teachers
1. Silence is good, it’s sooooo good, until it goes bad. Cherish every moment, for you never know what’s lurking around the corner.
2. Controlled chaos is most definitely a real, and quite productive, thing. A way of life, really. And that's okay. Learning can be at its best when things are loud and messy.
3. Trusting your gut ‘spidey sense’ is a gift. Use it. Always trust your instinct and know your children. Stay in tune, keeping one eye on everything. Sooner or later you'll have them convinced you have super powers because you can always bring out the truth. Once you build that trust, they'll never doubt you.
4. Fresh air makes a world of difference. Start over. Take a breather. Step back. Know when to switch things up. Get outside. Let the sun soothe you. Move around. Play. It’s good for all of us, at various points throughout the day, to just get outside and see things from a different perspective.
5. Technology does not teach social skills. It may work wonders at keeping them quiet while you get something done (like check your email), or that new app is brilliant at engaging them in math, spelling, reading, writing….. but technology doesn’t get sad. It doesn’t feel angry. It doesn’t smile, laugh or give a hug. It doesn’t look you in the eye or reach out for a hand shake. Remember part of growing up involves learning how to work with and be around others, to trust and support each other, and to respect and know ourselves. Sometimes living and learning is simply done by being human, and being around other humans!.
6. Always be prepared. Actually, this may have been a lesson from girl guides, but it has never rung truer to our ears until we were parents and teachers. Always pack snacks, activity ideas that require no materials, and have a plan in your head. Things happen and they always turn to you to figure out what to do next.
7. Mistakes make us stronger. If you don’t try, you’ll never know. If you get it right every time, you’ll never know what happens when you get it wrong. It you always win, you’ll never understand what it feels like to lose. Mistakes help us learn how to do better the next time, they help us take ownership of lessons learned and grow!
8. Pick your battles. Know how hard you can push. Sometimes, it’s better to leave it. Try again another day, or don't revisit it at all. Read the situation and know your children.
9. Sometimes (most times) you need to let them figure it out on their own, especially if you want them to apply it again someday. If someone always does it for them, they learn to think they are not capable of doing it on their own. However it may make you cringe, resist the urge to take over, hold back! We know it's hard! Let them make this their moment.
10. Crying and Boo Boos are part of the process. For everyone involved.
11. You get what you get and you don’t get upset, spoken from the mouths of preschoolers, this life lesson can be applied to it all. Be grateful for the experience, it goes by fast.
12. Keep it simple. They don't need, nor often really want, you to over do it. Most of the time they don't even realize or understand the amount of effort, time and money that goes into it anyway. They measure in love, care, and whether you're there with them. We forget how little they really need to be happy and healthy. Keep things simple and everyone will be better for it.
13. Don’t sweat the small stuff. There will be bigger battles ahead that need you.
14. You are their teacher. Not their best friend. Sometimes they’ll hate you because you told them how it really is, but they’ll thank you, later (much later).
15. Raising responsible independent individuals is hard. We all feel it. We're right there with you, in the classroom, and at home. We get it. But, we also know that it's all worth it, every ounce of effort. Keep it up.
Tell us - what would you add to the list? Or, which one resonates with you the most? To all the parents out there, this one's for you!
This post was written by the founders of Via Vita Academy, Adele & Meghan, both extremely proud Moms and Teachers to amazing kiddos To learn more about them, click here.
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