En loco parentis…

A long, long time ago, some really smart people came up with a Latin term that reads “En loco parentis.” It means, in place of the parents. Derived from English Common Law, it took root in Colonial American Schools as a means of explaining the responsibility of teachers. Translated: during school hours, I’m your mom (the proverbial “boss of you”), so I can tell you what to do. For your own good of course. But, with great power comes great responsibility. Thus, if a student does something foolish on my watch and gets hurt or worse, I’m a negligent substitute parent. It’s kind of a way to keep us all in check, I guess you could say. The phrase also has roots in legal guardianship, but for my purpose, “En loco parentis” refers to my duty, as a teacher, to protect and guide a child, in place of their parents, from 7:28-2:44. It does not, however, mean I am allowed to whack them when they deserve it. At least not in 2012. Bummer.

Several instances this week got me thinking about the teacher/mom blur. To name a few:

“Mrs. Perry, do you have a band-aid?”    (Big kids get boo boos too.)

“Mrs. Perry, can I leave my bag in here till after school?”    (Teacher-moms are the keeper of many a smelly sports duffel.)

“Mrs. Perry, my braids are too tight and I have a headache, can you help me?”    (For those of you picturing a six-year old girl named Jenny with pig-tails, please realize this was a 6 foot 2 linebacker with tight corn-rows he couldn’t reach.)

I even makeshift hemmed a pair of Jr ROTC pants during my planning period on Tuesday.

So clearly there is no shortage of mommy moments in my workplace… And lately I have been pondering all of the ways that being a teacher and being a mom are a lot alike, and yet worlds apart. In my mind this is, of course, a Venn Diagram… but I suppose I’ll blog it as a list, as is the way of the dramafreemama.

It took years of prep-work to get this fabulous… now take notes.

Here’s what teachers do En loco parentis…

Clean up messes they didn’t make.

Give up their own lunch for a kid without one, on any given day.

Pat someone on the back when they need it… give them a good ass chewing for the same reason.

Work extra hours without compensation.

Give incentives and rewards for good behavior. (Uh, you’d be thoroughly surprised at what a 17 year old will do for a smiley sticker. No shit.)

Serve as a wardrobe advisor… ie. Ahem, please pull your pants up, young man! Or– Missy, you put on a sweater!

Keep an open door and an open shoulder.

Sounds a lot like a momma huh? I thought the same thing…


About dramafreemama

I am a wife, homeowner, teacher, sister, pet-owner, and friend...But the most humbling and moving role in my life to date is that of a mother, or better yet, a MOMMY. We live in a rural area of Virginia and we keep it simple. This blog is about juggling life in all these different roles. Please subscribe/follow and ENJOY!
This entry was posted in Education, Family, Parental responsibility, Parenting, Parents role in education, Problems in education, Raising boys, Standardized testing, Technology, The public, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to En loco parentis…

  1. A word in addition… I just used my “teacher voice” on my kids. And the lines blur again!

  2. Christie @ Pathtothehalf says:

    Teachers are awesome! I hope when my kiddos get bigger they have wonderful teachers that do wonderful things for them as you have mentioned. Some of my favorite people growing up were my teachers! Thanks for the work that you do!

  3. I always wanted to be a teacher when I was a kid, because mine must have been doing it right! My hope is the same for my kids and yours. 🙂

  4. Brooke Rickmond says:

    “in loco parentis” The only reason I know that, is because I teach Latin 🙂 If you ask me anything your average high school graduate more often that not the reply will be in the form of a blank stare 🙂

    When I had to explain that you didn’t walk up (literally-like via a set of stairs) to go north, and that not all Romans had “funny noses”, it was just that the pictures they had seen of statues were REALLY freaking old and the noses had either fallen off or had been knocked off, I decided that it was a good idea to wait to have kids of my own 🙂

    Carpe aestatem (Seize the Summer)

  5. Brooke Rickmond says:

    I Left out “..your average high school graduate SHOULD KNOW….

    mea cupla- It’s July 🙂

  6. Bud Fleming says:

    Even today there is an obligation to restrain some specific student for their own health and safety!

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