Teachers as parents and students as kids

Students spend five days a week, seven hours a day at school. They go to class, hang out with friends, and unfortunately, don’t have much time for parents or siblings. Not many have the privilege of seeing their parents throughout the day in school – except a small group of 12 high school students. 

These students  have the rare opportunity to see their parents throughout the school day. How? Their parents are teachers. Both students and their parents have said there are advantages and disadvantages to being at the same school every day. Currently, Robin Worley, Stephen Bonnette, Saylar Craig, Joshua Curnett, Keith Hynes, Ursula Pong, Paul Terrile, Tim Zitur, Jason Martin, Laurence Ervedoza and Steve Early have kids that are in high school.

Kathleen Early is a senior this year. Her dad, Mr. Steve Early, is a marine biology and environment science teacher. “It’s nice to have my dad at school if I ever need lunch money or need help with anything,” Kathleen said. But she added, “It can get weird when students are talking about his class and don’t realize that I’m his daughter.”

Hannah Terrile and her father Paul Terrile both see the benefits of being at school together. Photo contributed by Hannah Terrile

Sophomore Hannah Terrile’s dad is AP Statistics and AP Calculus BC teacher, Mr. Paul Terrile. So far, she only sees the advantages of having her dad nearby.

“It’s not really a big deal. I’m an underclassmen and most of his students are juniors and seniors so it’s obviously not people in my grade. I think that when my peers start to have him, it might be different. But for now, it’s not really uncomfortable at all.”

Hannah agrees with Kathleen that it’s convenient to have a parent around. “One thing nice about him being right near me is that I always leave my stuff in his classroom, which is nice. It’s also really helpful that he teaches math because it’s a subject I usually have a lot of questions about, so he’s always there to help.”

But there is one major drawback, according to Hannah. “On the other hand, one bad thing is that he’s really strict about dress code and he probably would even turn me in if I wore flip flops, so I never have!”

Mr. Terrile thinks the pros outweigh any cons with the situation. “It’s nice to have Hannah in the high school with me and get to see her on a regular basis. I think the only time it got uncomfortable was during her freshman year of high school when there was an assembly where the overflow of freshmen wound up in the drama theatre. I took A LOT of phones away at that assembly and she thought that everyone was going to be mad at her instead of me. One other ‘bad’ thing would be seeing her in high school with her friends I have known for many years. It makes me feel so OLD!”


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List of all the teachers with High School students as their children. Picture by Jinny Choi 

But other than that, he said having a sophomore in the same high school isn’t that bad. “I get to see Hannah when she has math questions, needs money, needs to drop her things off in my room.”

Math teacher Mr. Zitur also has a child in high school: Brandon Zitur. “I, unfortunately, like to talk about my family now and then in class. I think it lets students get to know me better. When I do tell stories now, I have to keep in mind that Brandon is their classmate. Not a huge deal, but slightly awkward at times. Other than that, it’s not a huge problem for me.”

Mr. Zitur also sees some advantages to the arrangement that Brandon might view as a definite disadvantage. “The one good thing about having my child as a student is that I get to know his friends somewhat and I can sometimes tell what’s going on faster than other parents who aren’t teachers.”

Ultimately, they all don’t seem to mind whether or not the students they are teaching are their child’s friends…and vise versa.

Rosie Hogan, junior, has a mom who teaches in the elementary school, and she loves it. “If I have a bad day, my mom’s right there for me. She’s just down the hall, a couple of steps away!”

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