As a parent, I know how much I love my own child. But what about someone elses’s child?
In my last blog Love for Myals, I shared my journey in realizing just how much parents can love their child. It’s a love like no other. It’s a sacrificial, life-giving, unconditional love that changes you forever. It’s a special feeling. There is knowing OF that feeling, and then there’s LIVING the feeling. I concluded:
“I wonder if any families or parents of students I’ve taught in the last sixteen years felt the same way about their kid(s)? I wish I knew back then what I’m feeling right now.”
No, you don’t have to be a parent to be a great educator, but being a parent has definitely changed me as a teacher. Being a parent has reshaped my perspective on kids in general, including how they’re learning, and what’s really important. Being a parent has realigned my educator focus on the Whole Child.
Now, I have at least some understanding of:
- The morning routine of preparing [or helping to prepare] a baby for daycare for the day while getting yourself ready for work. Did we forget anything?
- The long nights for newborn parents where the baby doesn’t sleep well, but the parents are still expected to perform to perfection at work the next day.
- How having a sick child can change your routine, thought patterns, and priorities.
- How menial tasks and minor details don’t matter as much when you only get so much snuggle time at home before that stage is over.
- Why it’s important to focus more on getting to know the child rather than getting to know what the child knows.
- Why an educator should communicate and over-communicate the learning journey and well-being of children. Beginning an email or phone call by first saying: “Everything is fine, I was just wanted to touch base about…” can immediately relieve parents’ deepest worries that anything might be wrong with their child.
- How imperative it is to extend more patience and grace to anyone with a newborn in her or his life. There was a deadline missed because some life stuff happened last night? Instead of immediately jumping to punitive measures, perhaps an extension or a favor would better fit the situation?
- How building relationships with kids who don’t necessarily conform to my first attempts in classroom management or teaching style can be a game changer.
This has been my first-time, newborn parent journey so far.
Zooming out, I’m wondering how crucial my life experiences could be in the total context of how I interact with other people’s kids. What about someone else’s kid?
It’s so clear to me now: Someone else’s child is someone else’s whole world, just like my child is my whole world. That’s a really big deal right there. I always knew it… But now I KNOW it.
The learning journey is a lifelong experience, and–for one shining moment–an educator has the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child. An opportunity so precious demands an unconditional love that celebrates the good times and endures the challenges, a love that can go forever–A love for miles.
A7: Teaching is a ❤️ thing. Teach because you ❤️ it. If you don't ❤️ it, then find something you DO ❤️, & do THAT with your whole ❤️. #ecet2
— Kyle Hamstra (@KyleHamstra) January 16, 2017
“Every child in your class is someone else’s entire world. He’s ours.”
— Kyle Hamstra (@KyleHamstra) December 9, 2016
— Kyle Hamstra (@KyleHamstra) April 3, 2018