Monday, September 12, 2011

A Proud Teaching Moment

Today I was modeling a journal entry for my students.  I drew a picture of me, Jen and Oliver with an airplane up in the sky.  Underneath I wrote something along the lines of, "This summer I went on lots of trips with my family."  This was our first "journal" lesson and I wanted to the students to walk away with the idea that their description of their summer activities (which we were scribing for them) should correspond to the their drawing. 

Before reading it to them, I had the students guess what I had written about my summer vacation.  One student said, "You and your boyfriend watched airplanes."  I said that was a good guess, and asked if there were any others. Another student put his hand up and said, "You and your husband and your baby went on a trip."  "Closer.", I told them.  A little girl pipped up, "That's not her husband, that's her baby's other mom."  (Her big brother was in my class last year, so she's a little more clued into our family setup.)  Then, another girl I have in my class shouted out, "Hey!  I have two moms too!"  I, of course, already knew this, but it made me feel so happy that 1) She will have a teacher this year whose family reflects her own and 2) That she was not at all hesitant to share the fact that she has two moms with the class. 

It took me a while before I came out at work.  I was extremely concerned about what my co-workers and the parents would think and/or say.  I worried I would lose my job.  Fortunately I have run into nothing but positivity and support.  I feel very, very lucky for this every day.  I am glad that I am now comfortable talking about my family at work.  Playing the pronoun game and keeping my home life completely private was always something I felt uneasy about.  I can't imagine how difficult I would have found it trying to keep things quiet during the pregnancy and especially now that The Bean is here. 

The little girl's comment today made me so glad that I am out and also hopeful that one day The Bean will be confident talking about his family to his classmates, even if it's not the same as theirs.  


  1. That is so awesome! Good for you for coming out to your class in such a creative way, and for providing a safe space for the girl with two moms. It must be a huge relief to be out at work. My partner is also a teacher and has struggled with this as well, and has also found it to be a huge relief to finally be out to everybody. Good job!

  2. That's a great story. It makes me that much more confident that our girls will receive the support they need and feel comfortable talking about their family when they eventually attend school.

  3. what a great story! I'm so glad students get to have teachers like you.

  4. Thank you so much, everyone for your positive feedback. i can't tell you how great it makes me feel... and I was feeling pretty good to begin with!

    I forgot to say that I did confirm that the first little girl was correct in guessing that it was me and my baby and his other mom (lol) and from there we got into a discussion about where we had gone and what we had done on our various summer breaks. The kids' journal entries were pretty cute. I'm really enjoying getting to know them.

  5. This is such a lovely story - the little girl calling out made me go tingly all over.