Staff members guide their children from both a parenting and a teaching perspectives

Hallie O'Rourke, Editor-in-Chief

We’re all familiar with the awkward experience of seeing a teacher at the supermarket- strange proof that they do indeed have lives outside of school. Although this encounter can be uncomfortable for some, it’s important to realize that teachers’ lives do not begin and end in the classroom. For some students, this idea is reinforced by having parents who are teachers as well.

This situation can be a valuable learning experience to students, since they get more insight on what their teachers do every day.

“Both my parents are teachers, so I get what it’s like to be a teacher,” sophomore and daughter of social studies teacher Daniel Ashley, Meredith Ashley, said. “In some ways I’m more sympathetic to teachers and I understand where they’re coming from.”

Some children of teachers grow up to be teachers themselves. For example, both Lauren Freix and her mother Michelle Harris teach English, which helps them to bond through a mutual interest.

“It’s just very helpful to have a parent working at a school with you,” Freix said. “We’re able to talk about things that happen at school at home at the dinner table or when I go to see her. It’s nice to have her here.”

Additionally, a parent who works in education can help students realize the daily struggles that their teachers face.

“I can see that a teacher has a life outside of school. School is a major part of [his or her] life, but it’s not their only life,” Freix said. “A lot of them are coming home to families, so they have a lot more to do than just school.”

For some teachers, parenthood can affect the ways in which they teach. This is because they have a greater understanding of the lives of their students and the pressures of high school.

“I think being a mother helps you be a better teacher because you know what your kids are going through and it’s easier to understand parents,” Spanish teacher Zoraida Vazquez, mother of freshman Angela Giaconia, said.. “I know how the parents feel as well as the students because I have a daughter and she’s going through the same things.”

However, there are many challenges that teachers who are also parents face, as it is difficult to work with students all day long and then come home each afternoon to parent one’s own child.

“It’s so hard to be a teacher and not be a parent to your students,” Vazquez said. “Sometimes I feel like I cross the line; I’m not the parent, I’m a teacher, and I don’t know when to stop. It’s really hard in school; I don’t know when to start being a teacher and stop being a parent, or start being a parent and stop being a teacher.”

Parents who are teachers can also teach their children important lessons, both inside and outside of the classroom.

“This is really cheesy, but [my mother has taught me] to never give up, because she’s always working so hard and she always seems to get everything done,” freshman Sasha Gonzalez, daughter of French teacher Elaine Gonzalez, said.

Overall, it is important for students to remember that teachers are much more than what their jobs may portray them as.

“Teachers are people too. I think that sometimes people forget that,” Ashley said. “They have kids to drive around places; they have other things to do than grade your papers.”