Guest Post: The Mother Teacher

With Teacher Appreciation Week, Mother’s Day weekend, and National Charter Schools Week all coinciding, the Charter Center is pleased to share this guest blog post by Christina Reyes, founding school leader of Inwood Academy for Leadership Charter School in upper Manhattan.

Today I write an ode to the mother teacher. Yes, every woman who is a teacher is a mother to her students, but this ode is to the teacher who is raising small children of her own while teaching a class of twenty-eight energetic fifth graders. I am in awe of the mother teacher.

Aurea and Bianca

Photos: Courtesy of Christina Reyes

Two of these amazing women, Aurea and Bianca, work at my school. How is it possible to wake up at 3am to feed an infant and make it to school in time to, as our students would say, “drop knowledge” on them? These women pick up their children from daycare, make sure they get fed, spend whatever quality time they can with them, and get them ready for bed. As an aunt, I have observed the “getting ready for bed” process and it is no short task. Bodies must be bathed, hair must be combed, faces must be scrubbed, teeth must be brushed, and books must be read.

What is most amazing about these women is their ability to love their children with 100% of their love and love their students with an equal dose of caring and sacrifice. Many, who have found themselves in this position, throw in the towel at this point, but both women have told me on numerous occasions that they couldn’t see themselves not teaching. They realize that the work they do is important and that the time they spend with their students will enable them to see college at the end of the tunnel.