Friday, October 11, 2013

Year 4: Week 6 - Paternity Leave

 Last Fall, I took time off at the beginning of the school year to attend my grandmother’s funeral in Taiwan (I wrote about this in this post).

 For the past two weeks, I’ve also been away from school as part of my paternity leave.

This is the second year in a row that I’ve taken time off from school in the beginning of the school year. Last year it was unexpected and this year it was planned. Even though I knew that these leave was coming it was still difficulty to plan for and it’s been hard to be away.

You don’t realize how important it is to take time off to be at a funeral until you do ,and I didn’t realize how important taking my paternity leave was until I was spending time with my family.

I love my job and it’s important to me that I express my commitment to the school. This is why taking time off is something that I don’t do without a lot of thought. So there was a time that I considered not using up all of my paternity leave in the Fall because there simply didn’t seem to be any good time for me to be away from school.

After much thought and discussion with my wife, I realized that taking my paternity leave was not disrespectful to my school or and wasn’t negligent to my students. If you really care about being a good teacher than you have to start with having a balanced life at home and one of the ways I could do this was by taking my paternity leave and taking care of my family.

Beyond the financial benefits of not having to have a babysitter, me being home and spending time with my family has been one of the most important experiences that has helped me grow as a teacher.

I taught for seven years before having a kid and I got pretty good at what I did without having the perspective of being a parent myself. I’m not saying that you can’t be a great teacher without being a parent, but for me it has helped a lot.

If I truly value children, parents and families as a teacher, than that needs to start with how I treat my own child and my own family. My school has put their money where their mouth is and providing this time because they feel it’s important as well.

I’m looking forward to seeing my students next week. While I’m not looking forward to being away from my son, my time as a teacher has made me a great dad in the same way that my experience as a dad has made me a better teacher.

No comments:

Post a Comment