Mr Kemp NZ

Being a Dad makes me a better Educator

On the 27th February 2014 my amazing wife gave birth to our gorgeous daughter. We were over the moon, absolutely ecstatic! She is a little treasure and I love her to pieces. 

She has now been a part of our world for over 2 months and she has completely transformed our life for the better. 

As a teacher our ‘in school’ world revolves around the life’s of the students that we teach. It is our job to understand them, plan for them, teach them, engage them, listen to them and support them.

My teaching career to date encompasses 3 schools, 2 countries and over 9 years. I have had the opportunity to educate 100’s of amazing students, work with spectacular educators and interact with some inspirational parents. Never though, have I fully thought about the impact that parents can have on the life’s of their children. Now as a father I am so aware of, not only my daughter and the upbringing that my wife and I will provide for her, but also the students that I teach. 

I have become more aware of my students and their many diverse needs and I have also become more aware of what I expect out of them and what I know they can do. I am aware of their many deep and often hidden feelings and I make sure that I listen. Not just “listen” but truly listen to what they are trying to say – it is my job to care, even if no one else has the time to do so. I have always done this but never have I been so aware. The mentoring programme (click here to read all about it) that we run at my school is a great way to support the learning of the students and I am privileged to be a part of this.

As a teacher we are in such an important and valuable member of the life and upbringing of the students that we are involved in educating. We often see the students more than parents so the influence we have on their life is HUGE! As an educator, too many of us take this for granted. As a rule, before I start every day I remind myself how important this day is to every student I come into contact with and I make sure that I look every student in the eye and say something to them so they feel special and a worthy part of the environment they are learning in.

As a parent I have the opportunity to give my daughter an amazing start to her life. Parents do everything they can to make their child’s life better than their own in any possible way and sometimes that means letting go. Realising that other people also play a huge role in shaping your child’s life is something I will have to do. At the moment either my wife or I are with her 24/7 but one day this will not be the case. My mindset will have to change, but at the moment I am taking in every second of every day with this gorgeous girl and her gorgeous smile. 
As already mentioned, being a teacher means that I have 100’s of additional children whose learning depends on me.  I have 100’s of children whose parents depend on me to take care of their child, protect them from harm, and challenge them to their fullest potential.  I am put in charge of their feelings, placed before them for their entertainment, and must educate each and every one of them.  It is most often a thankless job, but it is the students that make it worth it.

It is important to note that there comes a time when teaching becomes a job and it must end when I walk in the door at home.  During school hours, the students are the most important aspect of my day.  However, when I get home I am a Dad to my beautiful daughter and a loving husband to my incredible wife. They get my full attention until they are sleeping.

Being a Dad has changed my life and I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring.

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Craig Kemp

Craig Kemp

I am a passionate Head of Educational Technology at a large International School in Singapore. I am a lifelong learner, dream creator and thought leader. I love to inspire others and find inspiration. Co-founder of #whatisschool, #asiaED edchats and #pubPD.

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Great post, I could tell it came straight from the heart! I’ve had similar revelations upon becoming a father, the most poignant was the realization that while sometimes we think that parents aren’t making the best choices for the kids, for the most part they are truly doing the best they can at that time. Congrats again to you and your family! Your students and school community are fortunate to have such a thoughtful, reflective and caring educator in their midst.

  • I really enjoyed your post, and I can certainly relate. I have two daughters (8 and 10). I remember when I was in the classroom, and I always referred to my students as my ‘kids.’ That changed a little bit when I had my own children. My kids are my ‘kids.’ My students always had a special place in my life, but they were no longer my ‘kids.’

    I taught high school journalism, and one of my favorite parts about having children while I was a teacher is that my students were such a part of our family that they were familiar with, and knew my kids. I love that they were able to have that relationship with me and my family.

    I am part of a show called #DadsInEd on Google Hangouts and Twitter (we have a show every two weeks) and I will certainly be sharing this post with my co-hosts. Thanks for sharing.

  • This is a beautiful post and one of the most important factors in a child’s life- home, school, emotional health- is a strong, compassionate and loving father. Oh, moms are important too, but dealing with middle schoolers and their success, we can look at father involvement. Not just the sports and financial but the tenderness and solid loving relationship with their son and daughters. Congratulations on your daughter’s birth and never doubt your importance in her life. Or the lives of your students. kconners09

  • This is a great post and one that resonates with me. There is nothing more important in a child’s life than a strong, caring, supportive father. My adult children are who they are because of the love of their “pops”. As a middle school teacher, I can tell which of my students do not have that relationship in their lives. Yes, moms are important, but a loving father gives a kid confidence like no one else can. It’s not about sports or finances, but unconditional support. Congrats on your daughter- it won’t always be easy, but it will be the most important thing you do. And yes, it does give you empathy and understanding with your students. Enjoy every moment with your daughter and your students. It’s what matters.

  • Hi Craig – being self reflective and actually thinking about what is happening around you and what is affecting you and those around you is what makes you a better person in my opinion.
    Being a new parent is exhilarating, exhausting, exciting and depressing. A bit like being a teacher.
    The learning you have down as a teacher will make you a better parent.
    The caring that you have done as a teacher makes you a better teacher. Teachers who do not care about their students, in my experience, make poor parents and vice a versa.
    Good luck. It is only the first twenty years that are hard – then it gets a little easier.
    Andrew – @acsbear8

  • Loved your post Craig, congrats on your gorgeous daughter!
    Your words are so true and when your daughter reaches school age your perspectives of teaching and teachers will change again.
    As one of 3 sisters who mostly breezed though school it has been an eye opener to be mum to, and raise, 3 boys who have all had very different school experiences.
    What do I want for my boys and to be myself as an educator? To be present – really present in the learning journey, to recognise and celebrate difference and to take the time to connect with each learner and show that they care. If each of my boys teachers and myself can fill these 3 needs, then I believe they and the students in their care will have a positive learning experience.

  • Hi Corinne and Craig
    Thank you both for your posts. I waited to comment wanting to think a little about what you had written.

    I think both blog point out the importance of learning and applying our life experience in positive ways, to our many roles as teachers AND as whole people.

    I have similar reflections to Craig as a grandfather (20 m.o.) and I remember very clearly the precious experience of my first daughter – so small and venerable sleeping on my chest. I also treasure the other lessons (some painful, some joyful, some just routine) of life with my children.

    That said, my experience in my previous profession (and in other life activities) has given me a range of other experiences which will make me a unique teacher when I have classes of my own – with all the responsibilities and opportunities that will provide
    .
    I cried with JOY as I read about Craig’s new experience, but I also cried as I read about Corinne’s experience, trying to understand some of your pain. I am sad that people measure others by reference to their family circumstances.

    Thank you again both for your openness and contribution – I am glad to be reading what you have to share.

  • Wow – thank you for the overwhelming responses – really has had me thinking more and also thanks to Corinne for her reflective piece – really got me thinking about how lucky I am. Thank you all 🙂

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