My son struggles in school- a lot. It's heartbreaking. I think the fact that I am a teacher makes it that much more heartbreaking. I think people expect school to come easy for him because his Mom's a teacher. And shouldn't it?
I should be able to help. I should do more. I should read with him more. I should help him with his math more. I should be more patient. I should help him like I help my struggling learners in school. The truth is, I'm tired. Dog-tired. By the time I leave school it's usually 4:30, 5:00. I fight the traffic and half hour commute home to then pick him up at extended day and make dinner. We all do it. We're all exhausted, right? By the time 6PM rolls around I can't bear to do any more guided reading, timed fluency drills, addition with regrouping and counting coins. But I do it. Probably not as well as I do during the day. I'm definitely not as patient as he yells and cries that it's too hard. My third grade son is academically, a first grader. I should be able to help but I can't.
Tyler receives support for reading, support for math and OT. He spends more time out of the classroom that he does in. When I go to a parent conference I don't just sit with the teacher. I sit with a panel of about 7 other teachers. I wonder what they think of me. That I'm failing? That I'm failing as a Mom and a teacher because Tyler struggles so much. Since I am divorced, I take on the doctors, neuropsychologists, behavioral optometrists and psychologists myself. I make sure Tyler has his medication for his diagnosed ADHD, every day because I'll get an email from the teacher for sure if he hasn't had it that day. Should I tell her it's because I forgot. I was running out the door after asking him at least 7 times to get his backpack and then he asked "What was I supposed to do again?"
Sometimes, well...most of the time... I wonder if I forsake myself as a mother to be a better teacher. It's my own child who gets the short end of the stick, I feel. At the end of the day I feel tired and then I feel guilty for being tired. It's a sick cycle, really.
I wonder how many other mothers who are also teachers feel the same way? I know I'm a better teacher because I'm a Mom. But am I better Mom because I'm a teacher? I hope someday I'll have a good answer for that.