Tuesday, February 10, 2015

#28 Days of Writing : Day 10- The Faculty Kids

Today I'd like you to spare a thought for the progeny of teachers, especially those bound by location or circumstance to attend the same school at which their parent(s) teach. I call them the 'faculty kids'.

I've taught all of my children and feel blessed to have done so, not only because I know they've had first class teaching but because it's given me a privileged insight into their development. I've never had to miss a sporting event or a performance and (most of the time) I know what's going on at school without depending on my kids to tell me. However, it's not always great fun for the kids.

These kids get to school early and leave late. They never have an excuse for getting their homework in late or being out of uniform. There are no parent approved 'sickies'.When opportunities are on offer they often miss out because their parents don't want them to be seen as being favored so they have to work much harder than anyone else for recognition. Parent teacher interviews are a bit of a nightmare for everyone concerned, especially when the teacher is having the interview with their own spouse! And then there's the 'cone of silence' where kids have to pretend they never overhear a conversation about school. Faculty kids are taught to wipe their own memories from an early age!

There are no staff discounts on school fees and woe betide all involved if one teacher has to tell another teacher about their child's poor behaviour. If another student calls you Mum by mistake in the classroom, it's funny. When your own child does it, they are mortified. The playground taunts of 'Your mum's a #@*%',  take on a whole new meaning when your mum's the teacher.

When Jaime was in Yr 9 I had two periods a week providing extra assistance in her maths classroom. I had to obey her 'code'. If it was a really simple question she and her friends would raise their right hand and I was allowed to offer help. If they raised their left hand it was because Jaime had deemed the question too hard for me and I was to ignore them so that I didn't embarrass her by not knowing the answer.

When Soph started school she suddenly developed an attachment issue with me and screamed every single morning when I tried to leave her at the Prep door. If she saw me during the day the screaming would start all over again so I had to develop a circuitous route to my classroom that avoided being in the same space as her. Not easy when the rooms are in the same corridor!

Poor Taine has pretty much been raised in the school. I was teaching a health class the day before he was born and I was back with the pusher the following week to teach Kapahaka. When other kids have pupil free days, he's stuck in my office. During the holidays, he's often stuck in my office. Last year he had not only his mum and dad teaching him but also his sister. A bit like the child raised by wolves, it's a good thing he's a hardy soul.

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