Many Awkward Moments When Your Parent is Your Teacher

At the end of last year, as I was signing up for classes, I realized that I would have both of my parents as my teachers in the coming year. My dad, Mr. Chris Pierce, who is the Math Department Chair, now teaches my Honors Pre-Calculus class, and my mom, Ms. Aerie Treska, the English Department Chair, teaches 11th Grade English. Since my parents are always at school, my personal and school lives tend to overlap, and it can get awkward.

OP Homework

A young Owen Pierce, now a sophomore, doing homework at the dining room table with his mom. He still does homework for his parents. (Photo provided)

One day, in English class, my mom called me by my nickname she made up when I was little (think “Peanut,” but even more embarrassing). In English class sometimes after the computer hasn’t been touched for a while, the screensaver shows pictures of my brothers and me. For the most time, people react either by giving me a knowing smile or by saying, “awww!”

The course comments my parents write are from a point of view that makes it ambiguous who they were being written to. In one of the comments from my mom writes, “Owen’s collection of vignettes was filled with poignancy….” For whom is she writing?

Other faculty kids have had similar situations. Morgan Broderick ‘19 had her father, Mr. Tom Broderick, as her U.S. History teacher in her freshman year. “My dad was setting up his iPad for Airplay mode in class, and a picture of me singing in my first Northwood performance came up. Half of the class laughed, and the other half said, “awww!” On a field trip to an art center, my dad told the class the story of how Sara Donatello ‘18 gave me a mullet when we were little kids,” she recalled.

Some of the most professional teacher/parent comments can be the most awkward when being read by a faculty kid like myself. In Morgan’s first marking period comments, Mr. Broderick wrote “…Her time at North Country School has prepared her for autonomous learning.” This is another example of how personal and school lives can turn awkward when you have your parent as a teacher.

It’s not always awkward. Andrew Van Slyke ‘20, another faculty brat, also had his mom, Ms. Ingrid Van Slyke, as an art teacher. He enjoyed the experience and didn’t find it awkward at all. “It was a different experience having my mom as a teacher. I missed her class often because of a ski trip to Austria, but being her student was fun. ”



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