Monday, February 11, 2013

Masters, Smasters - Homework With My Kids

Masters, Smasters - Homework With My Kids

I used to hate it when I was a newbie teacher and seasoned veterans would say to me, “You will see this differently when you have children of your own.” I felt like I was understanding, empathetic, and reasonable, what were these seasoned veterans talking about? Then I had children of my own and boy oh boy did I realize that I how much it has changed my point of view on so many things about teaching!
I was helping my daughter with her homework and she whined, “But that is noooot how my teacher taught me to do it. You are going to make me fail the second grade!” I calmly explained to her that I have a M.Ed. degree in elementary education and that I am a National Board Certified teacher both of which require high levels of skill and expertise in the field of teaching elementary school children. I am highly qualified to assist with second grade math. She was not impressed and she exclaimed, “Masters, smashters! That is noooot the way my teacher does it.” 
My daughter generally takes good behavior very seriously, so this was a little out of character. So... I got a little desperate and switched tactics by saying, “You know, you better be nice to me because I gave birth to you and it hurt!”
Again she was not impressed, “Oh yeah! Well I had to live in your belly and it was dark and boring!” She screeched.
So I was humbled by a seven year old. We ended up taking a little mental health break (mommy’s mental health) and figuring it out together when calm and good sense prevailed.
This little episode (and many similar episodes) taught me that I need to make sure everything I send home is as user friendly as possible and that I give parents as many tools as I can to help with homework. (The homework my daughter was doing WAS clear and user friendly, it just took us a few minutes to realize that we were both talking about the same thing.) 

P.S. The art work at the top was done by my daughter who is in PreK. PreK homework has gone pretty smoothly so far except for the great letter debate. She swore that there was a letter called "elemento" because it was in "the ABC song". I promised  her that it was really the letters l, m, n, and o. (Clearly she is not impressed by a masters or National Board Certification.) Instead of arguing with a 4 year old that feels that sticking her fingers in her ears is a valid debating skill, I just told her to discuss it with her teacher (who explained...l, m, n, and o are seperate letters). 


  1. That's hysterical! (And I love Sydney's firework teacher hair.) If I didn't know you or your girls, I wouldn't believe this story, but it sounds just like a Sergi conversation. :)

  2. Yes Andrea...You can't make this stuff up. That is how we roll in the "Sergi Circus"!

  3. I believe that parents should play active role in helping their kids deal with home assignments. Moreover, they have become recently rather hard, indeed. here are some of my methods of how turn everything into reality:
    Stressful Homework
    By the way, I followed you up with GFC, it'd be great if you follow me back.