Every day, every teacher who steps in front of a classroom full of students shows courage. They show it in many ways. First and foremost, we are in loco parentis. We are standing in the place of the parent. Students are with us for 7-10 hours per day, and we are expected to act in the place of the parent. Dozens and dozens of different parents with a wide variety of differing expectations. This takes courage.
Some of our kids come from thriving middle-class homeswith two loving parents and tons of family and friend support. Other kids live with their grandparents because mom and dad are not capable or allowed to care of the kids. Other kids live with mom and step-dad one week, then switch over to dad and step-mom the next week. Two homes with two sets of friends. Some kids live in single family homes with a parent who works two jobs. There are hundreds of other family situations.
There are a few generalities that can be made about the expectations from these homes for their kids at school, but the reality for teachers is that we must do our best to take care of each individual, regardless of their home life. We try to teach them that the life they have at home does not determine the success they can achieve at school. Without a doubt, kids from less-than-perfect homes can be super-successful and quite well-adjusted on campus. Likewise, a kid from the prefect home can find school to be extremely challenging.
We make decisions for each child based on our experiences and our desire to take care of that child in the best way we can. We do our best take all factors into consideration without compromising our values and principles. This takes courage. It takes more than courage. It takes an awesome combination of courage and grace!
When we walk on to a campus, or even into the district office, each educator is asked to act in loco parentis. Some folks think this is crazy. For those of us who love our profession, it is worth it!
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