BIG EXPECTATIONS I AM ONE OF THOSE MOTHERS. I HAVE BIG EXPECTATIONS FOR MY CHILDREN. I WANT THEM TO BE THEIR BEST AND TO TRY THEIR HARDEST AT EVERYTHING THEY DO. New moms don’t really know what they are doing. When my first child was born, I remember thinking, I can’t believe they just let us leave the hospital with this precious baby! From that point forward, I set out on the journey of making sure my little one learned as much as he could. My husband and I enrolled him in day care and, after a few years, moved him to a preschool with a stronger emphasis on education. We placed a lot of trust in my son’s teachers and hoped they would properly prepare him for kindergarten. They did. Kindergarten arrived. And, if I’m honest, I found that my desire for my son to try his hardest elevated. I know … it sounds awful! But, in my defense, I never pressured him to be the smartest; I just wanted him to be his best. And as a working mom, I relied upon his teacher to let me know if he ever fell short. I realized my expectations were not just limited to my not-so-little, very curious, and strong-willed son but also were placed on his teacher. I assumed that the teacher would continue working with him on adding and subtracting, making him a stronger reader, and creating an overall love of learning. It seemed reasonable to me, but that is a lot to put on one person with a classroom of energetic 5- and 6-year-olds. I want to be clear; I think teachers are saints. I can’t imagine keeping a classroom of students engaged for seven hours, five days a week. However, I suppose the most frustrating part of the job for a teacher is dealing with parents, who all have their own sets of expectations. These days, teachers are also required to know about so many things not directly related to educating, such as dealing with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, school safety and emergency situations, and how to respond to a subpoena. Sounds crazy, right? But, to ensure that their students are receiving the best care, instructors must be equipped with knowledge that extends far past what they have to teach in the classroom. Recognizing a need, TYLA has created Educating Educators, a resource guide designed to instruct teachers and administrators on their rights, responsibilities, and legal obligations. This guide will answer frequently asked questions that teachers have about the laws governing both them and their students. I hope Educating Educators will help teachers respond to all of the demands and questions directed their way. If you know any teachers or administrators who could benefit from this free resource, please request a copy or presentation at tyla.org. As the new school year is taking off, I find myself with a super cool first-grader and an “I-can’t-wait-to-be-older” preschooler. I am full of excitement, anticipation, and, once again, expectations. REBEKAH STEELY BROOKER President, Texas Young Lawyers Association
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