On the second day of school, I had my class participate in their very first Pinterest activity. My neighbor introduced me to the board pinning site about two months ago, and like an addict, I can’t stay away for more than a day! Figuring I need to put my new addiction to good use, I decided to try an activity pinned by a colleague. I provided the class with a worksheet split into three sections titled “What is the student’s job?” “What is the teacher’s job?” and “What is the parent’s job?”
Together, we spent 45 minutes brainstorming. What were the student’s expectations for themselves, for me, and for their parents? One student stated that part of their job requirement was to ‘follow all school rules,’ pretty obvious, but important to write down nonetheless. A brilliant statement from the back of the room, ‘shouldn’t we write that down for our parents and teacher also?’
As side conversations began to erupt, students talked about how irritating it is when parents text them in class, knowing that they aren’t allowed to use their cell phones at school. Further, how unfair it is for teachers to chew gum in class, but they as students are forbidden. All of which are completely valid points, from any perspective.
Of course, this got me thinking of my one son. Every time we see someone riding a bike or skateboard without a helmet, he will call them out, whether they are a stranger or not, that being the most important rule in his little world.
As a parent, I find myself sidelining my bad language in an effort to set a good example for my son. Partly though, I’ve found it hard to hold my son to expectations, if I can’t hold myself to those same expectations.
Simply put, kids don’t buy into the ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ message that some parents try to feed them. Being a teacher and a parent has made me a better person, mostly because I have a constant audience who has no qualms about telling me when I’m stepping outside of the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ arena I have built for them.
No matter 4 or 14, they see and hear everything we say and do, it’s our job to be the best version of ourselves, if that’s what we want them to be!
My favorite Pinterest quote is “Everyone talks about leaving a better planet for our children. Why doesn’t anyone try to leave better children for our planet?”