My mom used to say to my brothers and I, “I am your first teacher. Your teacher at school is your second teacher.” Although I didn’t quite “get it” at the time, and her sayings like this were often followed by a teenage eye roll. Now as a parent and an educator myself, I get it! Parents should assume responsibility for overseeing their children’s education. I grew up as part of a subculture referred to as “military brats.” I don’t know if it is because of that or not, but what I do know is that my parents took on the responsibility of ensuring my brothers and I received the best education possible regardless of the country, state or school in which we found ourselves.
My parents’ responsibility toward our education included such things as:
- Weekly trips to the public library
- “Forced family fun” which usually consisted of a mandatory board game
- Our entire family sitting together with the Sunday paper and discussing our readings
- And my favorite… math workbooks to be completed every summer as we spent hours travelling either on vacation or moving from one duty station to another.
I believe if more parents assume the role of “first teacher,” their children will be more prepared to meet the expectations of their “second teacher.”