Almost seven years ago I quit teaching. Yep, resigned. Didn't take leave, didn't have kids, just walked out. Why? Lots of reasons but mainly I'd just had enough and couldn't do it anymore and never wanted to go back. I still loved the kids, I loved being in the classroom, but all the other stuff got to me badly. Luckily I can sew and began dressmaking from home for a couple of years, before my two little angels came along and then I happily turned into a stay-at-home-mum. That was my goal all along, really. It's my dream job. I don't want to do anything else. But it's going to be hard to justify staying home when they are both at school, even though I would love to! So I'm preparing myself for going back teaching sometime during the next couple of years.
But this post isn't really about that.
I taught for 13 years. For all of that time I was a teacher, not a parent. And, as ridiculous as it sounds, for a long time I didn't like parents very much. Parent's made me incredibly nervous! I have always been a shy person, I have never liked speaking to a group of adults (kids I have absolutely no problem talking to...give me a room full of them...I love it!), and I've never been very good at 'standing up for myself'.
(Oh my God, I have sweaty palms typing this!)
With 13 years of teaching comes hundreds and hundreds of parents and most of them, actually just about ALL of them were wonderful. Model parents, dreams parents even. But it only took a handful to make me shake in my (teacher) boots. My confidence grew as I matured and I did get better at calmly talking to an aggrieved parent. I am a very non-confrontational person. I only want to get on with everyone and keep everyone happy. But of course, that is never possible, and to a not very confident, inexperienced little teacher, parents became my enemy. It was a terrible attitude, but that's how I felt.
Now I am a parent, with a child at school. However, I still feel like a teacher in the school grounds, more than I feel like a parent. I'm still surprised when kids call me 'Thea' instead of 'Mrs Smith'. I have friends with kids at the same school talking to me like I'm a parent (because I am) and putting down the school and the teachers. I don't like it. I feel very confused about this new world I'm in. I guess it's just because it's all still very new. I have to learn what it's like to be a parent in a teacher's world and a teacher in a parent's world. And believe me, they are different worlds! That doesn't mean though, that we are natural enemies. I don't believe that at all anymore...thank God!! Differences happen, they just need to be dealt with respectfully, by both sides.There are plenty of teachers who are parents and parents who are teachers, so I'll find the balance eventually.
I'm a little surprised at myself, but being at the school every day does make me miss being a teacher.