I was recently asked to share something on my heart with the amazing Typing Agent community. Before I do so, let me take a minute and introduce myself. My name is Kris Wheeler and I am the financial coordinator at Typing Agent and have loved working here for the past 2 years! I am also a mom of 3 adult children, I have two daughters in loves, and I am a grandma to one amazing miracle granddaughter. I have been married for 31 years to my high school sweetheart and we have had our fair share of trials and triumphs just like anyone else.
Now that we are fast friends, I have a confession to make. It’s only fair for me to tell you before we get two far in our friendship. Honestly, I do not know how I could have been so naive. I am quite embarrassed to admit this as I am a mom of 3 who have all graduated from college and it wasn’t until my oldest child chose her major that the lightbulb finally turned on. You see, my daughter chose elementary education as her major and when she began student teaching and telling me her stories, it hit me. Teachers are actually people. I know, I know that sounds totally stupid and seems like common sense, but it wasn’t until my daughter became a teacher that it totally changed my image of a teacher. I now had a mental picture of my daughter, a teacher, fulfilling an important role all week with her students and then coming home and living the other part of her life. Time with family and friends, working out, relationship building, personal struggles as her dad battled cancer, anxiously awaiting her new niece and of course a lot of fun!
Regretfully I wish I would have realized it sooner and I don’t know where I formed these opinions. Maybe it was the fact that the teachers my kids had were really private and didn’t share much personally. Perhaps it was because I was caught up in my own life challenges and drama that I was so self-centered I couldn’t see past myself. Maybe I just couldn’t connect the dots with how 20 first graders hanging out with an adult all day related beyond the classroom. What I do know now is that as parents, we need to think beyond the classroom when it comes to our teachers and the life they live outside of them. I have been guilty of complaining about my kid’s teachers and some of the decisions they made, homework they assigned or treatment of my kids. What if I, we, were to take a step back and think about the roles and responsibilities that our kid’s teachers have outside the classroom? Think of all the details and challenges in your life that do not have nothing to do with your job that you grapple with every day. Has your child’s teacher recently gone through a tragedy in their family? Were they struggling with a situation with one of their own kids? Were new demands place on them by the administration? Maybe they are really trying to connect with a family in the classroom that is battling a rough season. Are they not feeling well? Did they just get one of “those” phone calls?
I regret I missed some of the best opportunities to encourage and support some of the most important role models in my children’s life. As teachers, I encourage you to share a little of yourself. Open up an let your parents get to know you a little. Reach out for help when you need it. You may have parents just like me in your classroom that didn’t quite connect the dots. I think parents can step back and choose to come up higher. We could show more grace and freely give smiles, affirmation and encouragement. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to or wasn’t willing, I just didn’t get it. After all, teachers are people too and they need people in their corner like everyone else.