Last year, my boss at the time, told me that I really shouldn’t be friends with my parents. When I asked why, she told me that it would be crossing the line, that my parents weren’t my friends and would betray me. Well, I disagree! I see parents as my tour de force, my see all and know all, and a totally different insight to the children that I teach each day. I also see them as my friend, my teaching partner, and part of my circle needed to complete the education of my students.
Parents are an integral part of the classroom. They bring a wealth of knowledge and understanding of our students. They are our partners and sounding boards on what works and what doesn’t. We need to take serious notice of their insights and suggestions for what works and what doesn’t. That doesn’t mean that you have to do exactly what they say. You are the professional and the teacher in the classroom, but to totally discount their insights would be a dis-service to them and your students.
So, can you be their friend and their child’s teacher at the same time…absolutely! That relationship is completely different than the one you have as the teacher. No one will ever know when that special someone comes along that becomes our life-long friend! Be wise and knowing when “hanging” with your parent friends though. Remember, your role as the teacher can at times be confidential and tenuous! These relationships can be rewarding and last a life-time. So enjoy and use that “parent friendship” as a plus to achieving the maximum outcome for your students…and enjoy your valuable friend!