Week 15: Teacher or mom? Or can we be both?

From the TMC Team

Latoya Wilson

During the pandemic, I’ve managed my classroom from home while my children are learning online under the same roof.

The pandemic turned everything upside down. I became a third grade teacher and a seventh grade teacher at the same time.

I still have to clean up tears, check emails, make lunches and walk the dog, teach and still have time to make dinner at night while sitting at my desk grading papers. It’s like “Groundhog Day,” with my classroom under my roof while tending to my own kids’ educational needs.

Some days, I feel like I’m failing at everything. Other days, I feel like I’m a rockstar. I hear, “Mrs. Wilson” and mom simultaneously all day long.

It’s a strange twilight zone with dual roles. I’ve taught for 16 years and for most of my career my kids have been students at the same school. This year it’s different because we share a home and classroom.

The time with my children is priceless. I’ve learned things about them that I never knew. Before the pandemic the days were busy with extracurricular activities and school events. The pandemic forced us to slow down and spend time together.

It also forced me to take a look at my priorities as a teacher and a mom. As a teacher we are always on a wild goose chase trying to complete lesson plans, grades and anything else that has been thrown our way. This year the role of teacher intensified. Teaching never stopped because you had to work all day along. On top of working all day the expectations seemed near impossible for students and for teachers. Teachers went from being hometown heroes in March to the worse people in the world in the eyes of some. This made me become really reflective on the most important aspects of both mom and teacher, the relationships I have with all of my children. I’ve always been an advocate for building relationships but I found that it is the most important part of my daily routine. Teaching curriculum became less important than making sure every child including my own felt comfortable, confident and valued. I learned that nothing else mattered! That’s when I realized that the role of mom and teacher are not that different no matter where you are!

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