Leadership comes in many packages… but the first and most important is the leadership of parents. Here are parenting lessons from the classroom.
I write another blog on leadership and it always makes me smile when I look at a blog that I wrote for that website and realize that it fits perfectly into HOMEALICIOUS. Why? Because when you get down to the core of parenting… what we really are…. if we are doing right….. are leaders. So here is my modified article on what we can learn from a great teacher.
I have been blessed to have many great role models in my life. My mom is one of them but not only because of who she is as a parent but who she is as a teacher.
Momma’s childhood dream was to be a teacher, she got there via nursing as her first career and then in her late 30’s, early 40’s that crazy woman (mother of 5) went back to college and got her degree in elementary education and began her second career… the career of her dreams… at the age of 40.
My Mom has tried to retire three times from teaching, each of the first two times she just couldn’t do it and returned to the classroom. This last time we decided to throw her an enormous retirement party thinking that would help it stick and thus far it has.
She taught from the heart with a calling that drove her to be the very best educator she could be. Momma knows and understands the importance of relationships within education. She has worked that angle every year and the students she has taught are better for it.
I’ve learned many lessons from watching her teach… lessons that started with my students but translates perfectly to the world of parenting.
Parenting Lessons from the Classroom:
Mom journaled with students, everyday the kids would write to her on any subject they needed to share and at night… Mom would write back.
Communication is critical to success. Keep an open line of communication with your kids and make certain they feel their voice is important.
Mom used volunteers effectively in her classrooms.
Other adults in your child’s life can assist in so many ways. They can serve as a sounding board for your child as he/she gets older, or a voice of reason when your child no longer wants to hear what you have to say. Build these relationships now, while your child is young. The teen years come up fast and to use an overused saying, “It takes a village.”
Mom first and foremost was herself. There was no trying to be something she’s not and there were no apologies for it.
Parenting is about being yourself. I had a friend recently tell me that she just isn’t like me and just wants her kids to get it done! I respect that and encouraged her that you don’t have to look like, talk like and act like a cheerleader to be a really great cheerleader. Be you! Let your kids get to know the REAL YOU!
Mom understood that each person travels their own road and that impacts their day.
Our children will have their own perception of our homes, our beliefs and our lives. Just ask a group of brothers and sisters to tell you the same story from their childhood. You will get as many different versions as brothers and sisters. Keep in mind that your child will see things differently than you and respecting that their road belongs to them will help you build a strong relationship with them.
Mom knew the power of re-teaching.
As parents, we teach and sometimes we have to re-teach. Give your kids the opportunity to relearn a skill or process that they didn’t catch the first time. Re-teaching is a powerful thing… just remember, never teach it the same way twice. (Trust me on this one…. the bathroom still isn’t getting cleaned the way I taught my son to do it… time to re-teach.)
Mom would partner kids up to help support struggling students.
Partnering your kids up on projects is great for your family. Look for skills that one has and the other needs to learn. An older sibling helping a younger one with math. It not only assists the younger one but it has the older one doing the highest level of learning…. teaching!
Mom would teach to all modalities.
Our children have great qualities, just remember for some it’s easier to keep it all in their head and putting it down on paper is extremely difficult. Have them talk into their phone and then email the information to themselves. It’s a great way for an auditory learning to get it into a visual format. We all have our strengths, work smart to utilize them.
Mom introduced challenges to her students.
Challenges are great for kids. Giving them the opportunity to succeed and fail while they are in our homes, is such an important of raising strong adults of our future. When they are still home and can learn with you on how to approach challenges is a great life lesson you don’t want to miss out on!
Mom always provided her kids with necessities they might be missing at home.
As parents we work to make certain our kids have basic needs met. (food, water and shelter) We also need to be very aware of the emotional basics. (safety, belonging, esteem, self actualization)
Mom was a believer in positive reinforcement.
You can get more with honey than you can with vinegar. Never forget that!
Mom did not shy away from any topic.
Talk about what you need to talk about. If one of your kids asks a hard question, talk to them. Don’t ride the fence and don’t be afraid. As a parent, you must talk about all topics, in the right way and at the right time or our kids are going to get their information from some other place.
Mom loved to celebrate with her students.
Celebrations are motivators and they make a difference. Celebrate the small stuff!
Mom would do fun and out of the ordinary lessons, like flying a kite.
Out of the ordinary is a great way to keep things interesting. Change up the routine on occasion. It’s important that kids can go with the flow.
Mom would create projects that started in her classroom but would end up with the entire school participating.
The idea of change starting with our families and then moving out to something bigger is exciting and powerful. Create an environment that would allow that type of change to happen.
Mom always included the kid’s families.
This one is flipped. As parents we need to include our children’s teachers. When major things are happening at home, let your teachers know. Grandparent’s death, or you’ve lost your job or moving to a new house, or divorce. Teacher’s need this information, it impacts your child’s life at school and could change the way they behave. Keeping your child’s teacher in the loop is critical to your kid’s success.