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Patience and Potential What My Wife Has Taught Me About Education
C racking open the seal on your children’s report cards can stir up many emotions. For some, it’s a proud parent moment; others dread the lectures they’ll have to give to their kids. In the past, I’ve been a little more analytical and maybe took my kids’ grades too seriously. I’m not too proud to admit that if the grade wasn’t up to the expectations I knew my kids were capable of meeting, I’d want to implement some changes around the house. To me, school and homework were cut and dry. You sit down and do your homework, and there shouldn’t be any battles. My wife, Keri, is a high school science teacher in the West Ada School District. She teaches a variety of grade levels, from the kids who are just entering high school to those who are getting ready to tackle “the real world.” As soon as one of our own three children needs help with their homework, I see her mom hat come off, and she turns into a teacher. She walks them through their lessons and essentially comes at them with kid gloves. At first, I thought the act wasn’t going to work. To someone who is more business-minded and analytical, this act seemed pathetic and almost pandering to our kids. But over time, I saw what made Keri the great teacher she is: patience. I was fascinated by how good she was at getting them to understand concepts, buckle down, and get their work done. I’ve since thrown up my hands and agreed that she wins this round of parenting. Although, she does admit that, as the kids go through high school, it’s a little harder to come home from teaching Thankfully, my wife knows better.
teenagers all day and then continue helping teenagers. I love my job, too, but I wouldn’t want to work on IT when I came home, either.
Unfortunately, teaching isn’t getting any easier. With heavier digital expectations, teachers are being asked to not only be masters of the classroom and their topic, but they also have to run web domains and communicate effectively through digital means. Additionally, the expectations for children have skyrocketed. I’ve seen Keri struggle with expectations parents of her students have put on their children. It’s no longer enough to be a straight-A student or even to pass. The modern education system can never be a one-size-fits-all system, despite attempts to make it that way. The education system can be hard if you don’t fit in, and our family is a perfect example. All of our kids have a variety of strengths and weaknesses when it comes to school, and from the parenting and teaching perspective, Keri understands how hard it can be to try to meet expectations that shouldn’t even be placed on all children. Keri has taught me that something that presents itself as one child wasting potential could present itself as one child meeting their potential. Even as it gets a little harder, the expectations get a little higher, and the digital presence gets bigger, the drive Keri has for helping our students and the ones in her classroom is still there. She loves our kids, and she loves what she does. And from personal experience, she’s good at it, too. –Randy Amorebieta
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