I’m a Dad

coast of Borneo
CC licensed photo shared by Flickr user angela7dreams

I feel so fortunate that even a small amount of parents and parent advocates read this blog. Although it never fails to flummox me that anyone would look to me for any piece of advice on parenting, I’m starting to feel a lot more comfortable in my own skin as a ‘daddy blogger’. That’s because I’ve started to realize that this space is as much one where I ruminate on fatherhood as it is a place in which I contemplate education. After all, aren’t the two roles essentially one and the same? I don’t know about you, but I don’t really distinguish between me-the-dad and me-the-educator. Sure, the apple of working in an institution can bring different rewards and challenges to the orange of one’s own living room. Still, from the second that my first born began sharing the same oxygen with me, I intuitively knew that the pedagogy driving my classroom practice would invariably interlope with that which propels my life as a dad. I will never buy the claim that producing offspring makes a teacher better than his/her childless counterpart. That’s ridiculous. But I do subscribe to the notion, however trite, that we should always seek to educate as we would parent, and parent as if we were educating.

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11 Comments

  1. Dewey said it best “What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child should be what society wants for every child.” Apples or oranges, either way kids are lucky to have you as part of their life.

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts so eloquently. I can personally relate as a teacher/daddy. I am also being asked for parenting advise/approval by student parents and I simply turn to the student and ask them what they think makes sense….the child almost always knows the right thing to say. The challenge is motivating them to put their words into action.

    1. Hey Rhonda, OMG I never thought people would think I was announcing a birth in the family. LOL! I actually have 3 kids already.

  3. I agree with you that being a parent doesn’t automatically make you a better teacher, but I am a better teacher since becoming a parent. I look at my class through a different set of eyes now.

  4. I appreciate this reflection as a father of four at home and a “mother duck”/teacher of 70 at school. I agree whole-heartedly that being a parent doesn’t make “a teacher better than his/her childless counterpart.” Some of the best teachers I have learned from were never parents at all. That said, I think I am a better parent because I’m a teacher and a better teacher because I’m a parent. I don’t think it’s a rule and I wouldn’t attach it to anyone else, but for me the roles have definitely been complementary. Each role has changed my perspectives, added nuance to my understandings, and powerfully impacted my practices.

  5. Hi Royan,

    Great post. In all of my conversations as mom, teacher and vice principal, I always have in my head…this is someone’s child…that conscious realization guides me in my actions when I am interacting with teachers, parents and the students in my life. I know it makes me a better educator because I know how I would want my own children to be treated, I know how i treat my own children, and I know how I treat the children in my school….for me the answer is easy because I treat them all respectfully. Thanks for making me think about this out loud, Royan!

  6. Great post! I like how you worded the apples and oranges bit. Sounds like you teach a lucky bunch of kids. I just started as a “daddy blogger” (my wife is 5 months pregnant) and would really appriciate feedback on what i’ve started. Thank you!

    Nick

    http://trainingdaddy.blogspot.com/

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