I Wonder…

There’s something that I’ve been thinking about lately.  And I can’t stop thinking about it.  

As you may know (and as I’ve mentioned many times before), I used to be a primary school teacher. 

When I started teaching in Lagos, the school was very new – it had only been open a year, and everyone was still finding their feet.  Over the years the infrastructure improved, there was more guidance and there were more ‘rules and regulations’.  I was not happy about this at first (I’m not good with change), but soon realised that these changes didn’t benefit only the children, but they were crucial to my own personal and professional development.

I always taught Year 1 (5-6 year olds) or Year 2 (6-7 year olds).  I loved teaching.  I loved the kids in my classes (most of the time) and I think I got on well with most of my colleagues.  I’ve met some of my closest friends through teaching.

However, what I didn’t like (and I’ve made no secret of this either) was the paperwork and politics.  AND, apart from that, dealing with some of the parents.  The parents pay a lot of money to send their children to a private international school and expect a lot from the teachers; which is fair.  But there were some parents that became “overly involved” in everything that goes on in their child’s classroom.  Sometimes I feel they have every right to do this.  Within reason.

As a member of staff, of course it was necessary to always be polite and professional and deal with issues as they arose.  

I always thought I was a good teacher.  I took the time to talk to my children, to listen to what they had to say and to deal with their ongoing friendship problems (amongst many other things).  Any teacher would do that.  That’s what good teachers do, right?

But something’s changed now.  

I’m a parent.

I’m a parent and I can’t help but wonder if my interaction with parents of children in any of my classes would have been different if I’d *known* what it was like to be a parent before.  

Does that make any sense?

I wonder if I would have been as quick to placate a mum who had concerns about her child’s behaviour or progress (when there was no need to be concerned).  

I wonder if I would have been that little bit more sympathetic to the child that was upset because he didn’t like what was in his snack box.

I wonder if I would have been a little more patient with the five year old that was still crying every day when he arrived in school three months later.

All my ‘wonders’ are like this, and it’s made me question whether I did the best I could.  


3 thoughts on “I Wonder…

  1. I’ve wondered about that, because I was a teacher before I was a mother, when I was pregnant, and again when he was 2.5yrs old to now (and ongoing). I think I must have been fine, and perhaps more passionate about my children before I have my son, and realised just how resilient he was!I now have the joy of having a child the same age as those I teach, at my school, (but in a different class). That has given me a sympathy with the parents I didn’t have before when they want to know about jumpers and swimming kit that is missing, because my boy is always forgetting stuff.I think that if you think about it, then you are the kind of teacher who is bothered about it, therefore you must be a good teacher. If that made sense…..

  2. That’s it. It’s the missing swimming PE kit that drives me up the wall! I’m sure I’d be more sympathetic to them now!And yes, your comment makes sense – thank you!Thanks for reading"

  3. I know exactly where you’re coming from. And I think about all those times that I might have not handled situations very well because of lack of understanding or tiredness. I think now about how they are still babies and that to them, these things are the end of the world, especially if they think they’re going to get told off by mummy for it. 20/20 hindsight hey?

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