Parents impact students’ everyday life

Have you ever thought about how different your life could be if you had a parent as a teacher? Well, some students are living with this reality every day. For some, their experience feels exactly as it would without a parent, but others find that it greatly affects their daily life.

Coincidentally, Ms. Heather Trees has followed her daughter, Lilah Takes, ‘23, to each new level of schooling. In elementary school, Takes enjoyed visiting her mother in the library, but she now tries to be more independent.

Ms. Trees said, “I would love to teach either of my children, but they choose not to have me as a teacher. I think they are afraid I would be tougher on them than other students, and they might be right. I would have very high expectations, and I already have high expectations for all my students.”

Many of Takes’ close friends had Ms. Trees as a home base teacher in sixth grade, which could be seen as a good or bad thing. As a parent, you get to know your children’s friends on another level. But, as a child of the teacher, you may hear some talk about your parent as a teacher.

Takes said, “All my friends have had her before, and I’ve heard people say stuff, but it has been pretty positive overall. I just try to put myself in their shoes and understand that not every teacher will be the right fit for all students.”

Although Takes finds her high school experience to be different in some ways, Wilson Oberfoell, ‘22, finds it to be rather similar. His father, Mr. Bob Oberfoell, has had many of his children in class and is grateful for the experience.

Mr. Oberfoell said, “I have taught and coached my four oldest children in various classes and sports. It has been good, but it is different being called ‘dad’ in class. I try to treat them like any other student, just as I try to treat all my students like they are my own children. Overall, I have had no issues.”

Wilson had his dad as a teacher for Integrated Science last year as a freshman and was not affected by the experience. Since Mr. Oberfoell is used to having his children as students, this was not completely out of the ordinary.

Wilson said, “Sometimes people would ask me questions about having him as a teacher, but I always say that it’s not that different. The only thing is that he likes to pick on me for examples in class.”

Overall, students who have a parent as a teacher can either be bothered by it or completely unfazed. So, whether your parents follow you to school as teachers or simply ask, “How was school today?” they will always be there to support you.