What it’s like having your parent be your teacher and your kid as your student

Anna Ebert, Writer

24/7, day and night, at school and at home, teachers with students that also double as their kids seem to always be with one another. Within the school, there are seven teachers with their kids as students.

“Having my children here at work with me is a blessing,” Forensics teacher Matt Sullivan said. “I love having my kids in class. I know there are a lot of parents who would love to be around their kids more. My kids grew up in and around these schools and fields so we are used to spending a lot of time around each other. Not to mention, it feels like I have raised so many of these other students over the years through school and sports, that we all seem to be one big family.”

Many benefits can come having your kid as a student, you get to see them and have them within your horizon.

“I enjoy being able to spend a little extra time with them, but it is kind of a balancing act because even though they are your kid you can’t treat them any different than anyone else in the room,” English teacher Brett Mead said. “If anything, you have to be stricter, harder with them or you lose the trust of your other students. But I enjoy it because I have a good relationship with my kids, it’s fun. The dynamic is different, it’s one extra element that you have to be aware of. You have got to be sure that you aren’t cutting them extra slack. For example: essays, extra assignments or presentations that I give my kids in class, I won’t work with them on it at home. I can’t give them any extra opportunity for assistance, than I would anyone else. So if they want help on one of my essays, they have to come to me during SRT or get help in class.”

Sometimes, having your dad as your teacher can also have its downsides. Teachers can’t give their kids more time outside of school just because they see them more.

“It is okay, he helps me with some stuff but usually he wants me to figure it out on my own,” sophomore Connor Mead said. “He motivates me to do better, because I didn’t try much in middle school. It is a little pressuring, I feel like I have to do better in school. Him having access to my grades really makes me try harder. Nothing is different between school and home, he is the same person.”

From some students point of view, having their parent as a teacher at school is not much different than it is at home.

“It’s great having a parent as a teacher,” freshman Joe Sullivan said. “I really know a lot of the teachers and staff here because I have been coming here a lot since I have been a kid and he pressures me to be a good student, but I feel like I am just as responsible as any other student. My attitude has changed about school, but definitely my homework and grades have gone up because he has been helping me a lot. My dad acts pretty much the same when he is at home because he is just relaxed and caring to everyone.”

If you are a parent and the coach of your kids team, you sometimes have to be aware of treating everyone fairly.

“It has been pretty good having her as a student, she has been fine,” Physical Science teacher Dave Sturm said. “It is different because you have to be fair, that dynamic makes it hard. The other students wouldn’t want that to be a problem and think that I treat her better than I do them, but that type of thing will always happen. You have to be careful of that and that part is a little bit difficult. For example, if you are the coach of the team and your kid is on the team, the other kids always think that he made the team or that kid gets a position because his parent is the coach/teacher, it is the same thing.”

Having your parent able to check your grades more regularly can be a good thing, to keep on top of your assignments.

“It’s not as bad as I thought it would be, he basically just treats me as a normal student,” sophomore Vien Sturm said. “I don’t think he puts any pressure on me, he’ll just occasionally say I need to get one of my grades up or something. My attitude towards school hasn’t changed because he checks my grades. Growing up around him influenced that education is top priority, I’ve cared about school since I was little.”