"Hey, I don't know what you're sighing about. It's me that has to do all of this homework!"
And of course, he was right. But I was reminded of how intensely I wanted Ben to have a positive and enriching educational experience, and I felt strongly that completing hours of homework was in no way reinforcing the intrinsic love of learning that I had hoped to instil in my son.
This, and numerous other experiences, is how my 11 year old son helped to shape my philosophy on education. On a daily basis, I remind myself when I look out at the sea of faces in my classroom, that these students are someone's son or daughter, and that their parents have the same hopes and aspirations for their child as I do for mine. This profound insight informs ever element of my teaching, from lesson planning, to assessment, to daily interactions in the hallways. However, I find that keeping this thought forefront in my mind is most important on those occasions when a discipline issue may arise. I consciously consider, how would I want Ben to be treated in a similar situation? How would I want him to be spoken to by his teacher? How would I want him to feel about himself at the end of the conversation?
Don't get me wrong, this isn't always easy when a teenager is doing their very best to "push your buttons", but in those moments, I believe it is even more important to remember, this is someone's child. Ultimately,
I strive to be the kind of teacher that I want for my own child.
I see my students not through a teacher's eyes, but through a parent's.
I want my students to know that I care.