Every Teacher Has a Mom…Doesn’t (S)he?

6 Dec

      Some of the best teachers are the ones you accidentally call mom. Remember them? They were the caring, smiling and friendly teachers in Kindergarten or First grade who genuinely seemed interested in you doing well in school and they would even help you tie your shoes or pull on your boots and zip up your jacket. That’s when you were most likely to say. “Thanks mom”, and then look embarrassed because she was your teacher and not your mom. And hopefully you had a mom at home who was also just as loving and nurturing.

Of course loving your child should be a no brainer. And I don’t mean just saying “I love my child”. Everyone says that. Words can not only be important but cheap too and a word like love has no meaning if it’s not backed up by loving actions and loving deeds and personal sacrifices.

Teachers know that children need a lot of things from their parents before they go to school but what kids need mostly is love. They especially need a mother’s love. A father’s love is important too but let’s face it, If your mother doesn’t like you, you’re pretty well going to have a troubled life, dad or no dad. (And I don’t mean “tough love” either. Tough love is love like tough steak is steak. One is still love and the other is still steak but you can take them both back because nobody wants that crap) Kids want and need (as do we all) tender love…and tender steak!

Unfortunately I have seen many teenage mothers during my 33 years of teaching and almost always it was their idea that having a child would mean that they would finally have someone who would love THEM. But babies learn love from their mothers. It doesn’t work in reverse.

All children know and are aware of whether or not they are the recipients of love by the time they reach school age. And that’s a knowledge that no teacher can help them unlearn… and trying to tell the child that “Sometimes love just skips a generation, darling” doesn’t work very well either. Kids are hip to crap even before they get to school…

And here is something else that we should be teaching to all children in schools everywhere, especially young women. Everyone needs to know that the single biggest indicator for poverty amongst women is childbirth. In other words, if a woman has a child in today’s world and today’s economy she faces the likelihood of spending the rest of her life living in poverty. And that statistic is a true one…you can Google it too.

            Women at the earliest age possible need to be taught that giving birth to a child is an extreme, difficult and costly responsibility that is unfortunately quite likely to fall completely upon her young shoulders. Whether we want to admit it or not, divorce is rising the charts with a bullet and single parenthood, of which women constitute 83% of all single parents, often leads to a life below the poverty line.

According to the most recent census, around 25% of single parent households live below the Federal poverty level. This is an alarmingly high number, since only about 15% of the entire United States population lives below the poverty level. So women need to be taught that if they are going to have a child they should be prepared and able to care for that child and themselves on their own and without the assistance of others because whether they are planning on it or not the odds are beginning to favor divorce, abandonment by the father, or some other calamity that no one ever counts on happening.

And how can women prepare themselves? Well, They can stay in school and get the best education possible and then get a good job, save their money, buy what they need to live a happy and fulfilling life and then consider giving birth to a child. Any other advice that they get on the subject will not be in their or their child’s future best interests and for whatever the reasons, that’s a cold hard and unfortunate fact of living in the 21st century… as it probably was in the 1st century too.



10 Responses to “Every Teacher Has a Mom…Doesn’t (S)he?”

  1. John December 6, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    Amazing you mentioned calling a teacher your mother. When I was in high school, a student in some kind of media class I think, called the teacher mom when responding to her. The class burst out laughing. I bet though, the teacher was humbled. Funny the things you never forget. Great post!

  2. lanalewna December 6, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    Fabulous post! As a 6th grade teacher I wish I knew a way to get that message through to girls, but they always think, “It won’t happen to me.” I wish I could put a bubble around them to protect them when they are in that relationship that they are sure will last.

    Also, every year I am called Mom by at least one of my students. I, too, consider it a compliment.

    I love 6th graders as you can joke around with them and they get your humor, they become more independent, and they (most of the time) are not yet mouthy!

    Thanks for your blog. I always enjoy it.


    • gpicone December 6, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

      Thanks Lana, for your comment and for reading and for being a teacher too! 🙂

  3. francisguenette December 6, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    Your analogy of tough love and tough steak is so right on! Kids don’t need either. Great post – well thougth out and well presented. Thanks.

  4. Abbi December 7, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    Maybe we should also start preparing men from childhood to understand the responsibilities of fatherhood…

  5. jacquelinevroe December 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    I often pray for single parents and our community, like so many, have quite a few of them. Those who take responsibility for their children are so amazing, I admire them. You are right they have a difficult time, but isn’t that where many of us (especially those of us who call ourselves Christians and are commanded to look out for the poor, the needy, the fatherless, and the widow) should step in and offer our friendship, love and support? I am blessed that one of my friends, a single mom, allows me to love on her kids. She is fiercely independent and works hard for her kids. She is not proud of all the choices she has made, but I am proud of her hard work and devotion to her children. Without them, she fears she would not have learned to make wiser decisions,

  6. colonialist December 7, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    The number of single parents (and children only supported by one parent) is an indictment on a system that makes the causal irresponsibility too easy. Far greater enforcement of consequences, especially for fathers, might improve the situation a lot.

  7. Shannon December 7, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    The tough love/tough steak metaphor made me laugh! Way to slip a hilarious one-liner into an otherwise important and reflective post.

  8. The Jadedoughnut December 7, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

    Liked the post…Teaching is such an important field, as our youth will spend majority of their developing years with a teacher, who whether want to or not, will have a major influence in their lives. Often the teacher is the parent for a child. As the home some children come from doesn’t have parents there to provide the parental love that’s needed…So if you are a teacher, keep up the good work and remember they DO learn something from you..

  9. saphira December 8, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

    Unfortunately, those who need this information the most, are least likely to receive it before they are in the middle of the situation. I see so many of these young women: single parents, attempting to return to school, manage a family (one or more children, boyfriend, etc.) and work. They are often stressed and living in less than wonderful conditions. The scary part is these are the lucky ones – those who’ve realized that education is the path to a better life, no matter how difficult it is to take that path. When I learn of their circumstances, it inevitably makes me consider those who haven’t made it to school and how much more appalling their situations must be. I give thanks every time this happens for parents who pushed me to an education and career before even considering marriage and a family.

    Great post and so accurate.

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