When I started this blog, it was over 1 year ago and writing in it made me feel better. Why then, is it so hard to get courage to write in it more frequently?

I have to admit, I’ve been pleasantly distracted in Euphoria for the last 2 months. There is nothing to keep you from being depressed like a good, long, distraction. Matt and I have been in the process of buying our first home. We hope to close the deal in the coming week. We also became self-proclaimed puppy parents to a Miniature Aussie that was born March 26th. She will be coming home on May 28th.

Both events gave me a feeling of finally moving forward in our lives. We can’t be parents yet? Fine. I’ll do everything else. The plan worked so well that I found I no longer cared whether I had/could have children. I found that the daily burst-into-tears moment at the sight of any mother-children routine had finally ebbed. I’ve been stressed and crazed at all the paperwork, money budgeting, and puppy preparations that I didn’t have time to feel sorry for myself.

This week is Teacher Appreciation week, as well as today being Mother’s Day. This last year in my career I’ve come to a brilliant conclusion that I wish more parents would understand: PARENTS INFLUENCE THEIR CHILDREN MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD!

Think that’s obvious? Not to everyone. I was told through education we could change children’s lives. If they had a rough home life, WE could be their safe haven for learning. This may be true to a small amount, but I’ve had a front row seat to what really happens.

As a kindergarten teacher, I spent countless hours of teaching time focusing on ‘being a good person’. I teach my class how to respect one another, how to walk away when a situation is unhealthy or uncomfortable, how to keep their hands off of each other. Last year, I substitute taught a High School class for 6 weeks. I saw what NO kindergarten teacher should ever have to see. I realized that all that hard work of teaching comes to no avail. What was I thinking? I get them for ONE year of their lives. As much as I care about them, try to influence them, they are still going to grow up a whole lifetime of influence from other things. High School kids? They don’t respect each other, themselves, or keep their hands off each other. What was the point?

Another realization I came to this year, as I taught first grade . I’ll be honest, this class is a ROUGH bunch of kids. As a class, they tend to barely keep their heads above water. In general, they come from distracted and inconsistent backgrounds so they have little experience or value in education. It is no surprise to me though, that the percentage of my class performing on, or above grade-level are the students with the most parent involvement.  With some of my students, I could inspire, teach, care for, beg, bribe, but they would still NOT do their homework or complete their work in school. Test scores drop and drop.  However, some of my students that may have struggled with one or two subjects in the beginning of the year and need extra teaching time, extra help, are now performing above and beyond expectations. These students are the ones whose parents show up for every conference with me, check their homework every night, sign their Reading Logs and actually ARE reading with them. It is no coincidence.

In short, Parents Matter Most. I am appreciated as a teacher and I am grateful for the chance, but I will never have true influence over a child’s life until I can celebrate Mother’s Day (and not just as the mother of a puppy).

To all the Moms out there:  You are more than just the dishwasher, laundress, taxi, housekeeper, couch, referee, teacher, etc. You are more than ALL of them. Never forget that.

Happy Mother’s Day