The Greek philosopher Aristotle once said “Those who educate children well are more to be honoured than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.” Whether you share this opinion or not, since 384 BC (the era when Aristotle lived) the role of a teacher has certainly been of primary importance for the intellectual growth and self-improvement of children.
Sometimes the fine line between a parents and teachers’ educational role can come into conflict, where it is difficult to understand at which point responsibilities start and end.
So, what happens when a teacher is also a parent? How can the roles come together in harmony?
I asked this question to Ameenah Murray-Khalifa, an experienced primary school teacher, who’s also a mother of four, five and eight year old children.
Ameenah is one of the dozens of highly qualified teachers who come to Tempest everyday ready to be recruited and placed into the hundreds of schools we work with across London and the UK. Her interview couldn’t go unnoticed when she visited, since she came with her beautiful three children, bringing energy and smiles to our offices.
Do you help your children with their homework?
“Yes sometimes I do, but I prefer they help each other. At home we have this game where my oldest teaches the middle one and the middle one teaches the youngest. This way the older one feels a sense of pride and self-confidence in explaining something that he knows and the younger one learns how to be respectful. Of course that also allows me to have a bit of time for myself!”
Parents vs teachers: what’s the perfect recipe to combine the two ingredients?
“I’d say that the mother wins over everything, but a good teacher doesn’t only teach you the curriculum, he or she can also help build a child’s self-belief. From my experience I can see when children don’t have support at home, because they’re more likely to struggle. I’ve heard a lot of parents say ‘Why do I need to do homework with my children at home? I’m not their teacher”.
“But the reality is, in my opinion, that parents are teachers for life.”
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