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Do you think teachers should have to be parents?

Posted by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 9:27 AM
  • 18 Replies

Do You Want Your Kid to Have a Teacher Who's Not a Parent?

by Jeanne Sager

classroomWhenever anyone says mothers are "better" at things than non-parents, I feel a twinge of sympathy for the child-free. How presumptuous is it to assume that one's parental status makes them "better"? And so it is with the assertion that parents make better teachers.

That's the title of a controversial article by Sara Mosle that appeared in Slate just in time for back to school. A mother and a teacher both, Mosle claims she's better at the job now that she has a daughter than she was two decades ago when she was just starting out.

Fair enough, but perhaps that has more to do with two decades of experience in adulthood than with her progeny?

Sure, parents can make for good teachers. I sent my daughter off to school this morning and into the classroom of a mother of two. I'm hoping for a good year, a year not unlike the last three she's had -- each with mothers.

Is it because these women had children that they were so responsive to my daughter's fears, so encouraging of her love of reading, so willing to dole out hugs and tissues? Maybe.

Then again, her kindergarten teacher has been teaching in the district for decades, and her daughter is not much older than my own -- perhaps 10 or 11 at most. She has been a teacher far longer than she's been a mother, and she's always been beloved by her students and their parents both. She was "the" teacher to get well before her child came along. 

It had nothing to do with motherhood and everything to do with the fact that she was simply the right sort of person for the job.

There are single people and married people without kids who are the right sort of person for teaching -- tons of them. Some of my favorite teachers had no children (and still don't). They were still warm, still nurturing, and had lasting impacts on my life.

Heck, they brought things to job that their fellow parents could not because they had NO kids at home. Think about it -- they didn't get burnt out on kiddom. They went home at night and got real sleep! They didn't spend their mornings waging a war over teeth brushing, sneaker finding, and lunch preparing before arriving in a classroom and having to face 22 sneaker-wearing, gap-toothed grinning children toting lunch boxes.

They weren't there because the job guaranteed they wouldn't have to pay a sitter during summer and Christmas vacations. They had true delineations between their private lives and their work lives.

If that's what it takes to get a good teacher for my kid, so be it.

I want a teacher who loves kids -- whether they have them or not -- and who has the patience to work with them. I want a teacher who loves learning so much that they want to spread that love.

I want them to be there for my kid.

And if the only person who meets those criteria has no kids, I'm sure as heck not going to say, "Eh, no, let's get a Mom in here, because she'll do a better job."

Do you think teachers should have to be parents?

by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 9:27 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Anonymous
by Anonymous on Sep. 4, 2013 at 9:32 AM

So because a teacher loves kids and is infertile means she shouldnt teach? Or what about the fact that responsible people dont have kids while in school. Now they would have to wait to find a man, get married and have a child before they start their career? Stupid debate!

Anonymous
by Anonymous on Sep. 4, 2013 at 9:44 AM
No, being a parent has zero to do with being a teacher.
LuvMyBoys09
by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 9:46 AM
1 mom liked this
Some of the best teachers I had in school, didn't have children.
I think its rather unfair to assume that because someone has kids, that they'll somehow be better with children them someone who doesn't.
lwalker270
by Bronze Member on Sep. 4, 2013 at 9:46 AM
1 mom liked this

One of the best teachers my son ever had didn't have children.  

I think being a parent can help them have more realistic expectations of children, but a better teacher and a requirement?  No.

Anonymous
by Anonymous on Sep. 4, 2013 at 10:59 AM

This is funny because is so ridiculous.


With that a Doctor wouldn't be a good heart surgeon if he hadn't had heart surgery first....

NDADanceMom
by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 4:28 PM
1 mom liked this

Most teachers dont have kids till they have taught a few years.  They dont come out of college married with kids for the most part.  If they then discover they cant have kids?  Seems silly to think they cant teach

disastermind
by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 6:03 PM

I think it's ridiculous to not want a teacher just because they aren't parents.

What about the ones that want kids but can't have them? How about the ones that feel like having students is enough and just doesn't want any of their own?

nova.mommy
by Bronze Member on Sep. 4, 2013 at 6:10 PM

No relation between the two in my eyes.

srehman
by Bronze Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 11:14 AM
That's bull. I don't believe being a parent makes you a better teacher. In fact sometimes it could very well be the opposite bc they have kids all day then have to tend to their own at home. I think like any other career choice experience is what makes you better. So, in short...no, it doesn't.
littlelamb303
by Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 11:39 AM

NO.  I was a teacher for over 20 yrs and in the early years , I was not a parent yet.  There were times I had parents tell me that I would understand thing better when I was a parent.  That was ridiculous, because it had nothing to do with my teaching and I was always very good with kids, even when I was still one myself.

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