Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Familiar Colleague

I've been running into my Mom a lot lately. Which is kind of weird, because she lives across town, 45 minutes away. Except it's perfectly normal, because she is now teaching English on my campus!

In June she retired after 30+ years of teaching K-8 students. She was in a pull-out program, where she would take a few kids who tested below average and give them extra tutoring. So, to recap, she's had a lot of experience with students up to age 13, in small groups—no grading or lesson plans.

She knew she wanted to do something else after retirement, but she hadn't decided what. Her Masters in Education makes her eligible to teach the developmental classes (below ENG-101), and she had expressed a potential interest in it. At some point. Maybe. Just the Reading course, ENG-096.

But then, suddenly, 3 days before the semester started a professor told the department head he wasn't coming back. There were 2 or 3 classes to fill .... I volunteered my Mom for ENG-099 (mostly writing and grammar), and here we are! I figured she'd curse me at first, and be incredibly nervous, but eventually (hopefully?) she'd be glad.

It's so fun to be colleagues with her. I love sharing lesson plans, tips and tricks, discussing what worked for me and what hasn't. Plus, she has so much more experience in education than I do; she knows about so many resources and technologies that I'd never heard of. I'm sure her students already love her, and I'm very confident that she's doing much better than she gives herself credit for.

And what's even better? My older sister (Masters in Library Science) is also going to tutor in the writing center. People have started to look at me funny, and ask just how many family members I have who are involved in education.

I think the campus is safe from a family take-over, though. I don't think my electrical engineering Dad is really looking for a side job. And my younger sister (with a Masters in Special Education) is BUSY watching Eleanor when I'm at work, so she's definitely not available for another job. I would do everything I could to stop it, because it's so wonderful to have her taking care of Eleanor!

I'm so excited for Amy to start working on campus, too. Is it silly to picture sitting with my Mom and Sister in the cafeteria, talking about writing, pedagogy, and educational theories? Just thinking about it puts a smile on my face. (Which is bad, because I AM sitting in the cafeteria as I type this, but sitting alone.)


Jonathan said...

I was just talking to my other half about your post - we find it interesting because we have lines of teachers in our family too :)

I wonder how common it is - to have brothers and sisters who teach, married couples who teach, and children who teach, all in the same family ?

M. Lubbers said...

Anecdotally speaking, I definitely agree with you. Teaching does seem to run in families. Did I mention that my grandmother was a teacher, too? And an uncle on the other side of the family ....

It does bring up the nature/nurture question. In this situation, I tend to side with nurture. If you see that the people around you are passionate about and fulfilled by education, it's something you have a good chance of being interested in, too.