Teaching your own child – Sarah Cruickshank

Challenge, nightmare or enjoyable experience?
How are you to cope when you arrive at school to be told that you will be teaching your own child’s class? It is quite a challenging situation, you may feel apprehensive, will you treat your child differently to the other? Your initial worry may be that you’ll be too soft on your own, but you are more likely to be much harder on him/her.
Remember too that your child might feel strange about you being in front of the class.
The class are likely to know you as X’s parent and indeed, many of them might have visited your home and be used to calling you by your first name.
When you enter the classroom, you must make it clear from the start that whilst some of the children may have spent time with you in your house, you are now their teacher and they must treat you as such. Ensure that they understand that you will not be visiting undue favouritism on your own child, nor will you accept standards of work that they would not submit to their regular teacher.

Teaching your own child

Challenge, nightmare or enjoyable experience?

Make sure that your own child knows that whilst you are working, they cannot be the centre of your attention. Explain that you will expect him/her to act as they would if any other teacher was working with them. You will not be giving them any special privileges just because they are “your baby”.
As you are going to know exactly what your child has done for the period you are teaching, it is going to be difficult to ask the usual “what did you do at school today?” questions. Be sure to discuss the day and praise the positives.
Your child may be surprised that you are more strict or do other things slightly differently from their regular teacher. Reassure your son or daughter that in front of the class you are the teacher, but that outside school you are still their loving parent.
Treat the experience of teaching your own child as an opportunity to get a privileged insight into their education, an experience that most other parents are unable to enjoy. Use this experience to help/support your child and his/her regular class teacher to develop their knowledge and skills.
Teaching your own child can be a challenging and stressful experience, but one that can be enjoyable from time to time.

Article submitted by Sarah Cruickshank, Education Writer and Supply Teacher.