I have guilty confession. My son is tardy to school on a regular basis. I can list the things we do to prevent this. When I am talking tardy, I am talking a few minutes late everyday. As a teacher, I know better. Those first few minutes are great times to connect and start the day on the right foot. Now, no one harasses me about being late or makes D feel bad. Instead, they know and care about my son. They know that he has a curious and creative mind that slows him down when he is on his way to class. I know that his principal often reminds him to keep moving quickly.
The reason I tell you this story is because I often made judgements about students who were tardy first thing in the morning. I made assumptions about their parents. I did make students feel uncomfortable about being late. Of course, this was before children when I was the perfect parent. My hypothetical children were always early. Now, I know that I was horribly wrong. I really want to find these chronically tardy students and apologize.
I also share this story because of a conversation that happened during this week’s #EdBeat chat. We talked about shadowing a student help us understand our student’s lives. A suggestion was made that if we saw our student’s home life, we would not assign homework. Another teacher volunteered her home.
My take home message is be empathic. Even teachers struggle with balancing working and parenting. The expectation for quality work has skyrocketed in both areas. Treat all student as if they were your child. How would you want them treated? How would you want to be treated?
So tonight, I will pack the lunches, lay out the school clothes, load the backpacks, prep breakfast, and tuck D into bed early in hopes that tomorrow my son will not be tardy. And if he is still tardy, then thank goodness my son does not have my former self as his teacher.