Students adjust to having parents as teachers

Senior Sydnie Smith (center) pictured with father and middle school P.E. teacher, John Smith (left) and mother and intervention specialist, Brooke Smith (right). (Photo by Ciel Peacock)
Sophomore Helena Sidel (right) pictured with father and middle school English teacher, Chevy Sidel (left). (Photo by Ciel Peacock)
Freshman Vivienne Frank (left) pictured with father and middle school math teacher, Mark Frank (right). (Photo by Ciel Peacock)
Junior Fisher Brashear (left) pictured with father and cafeteria employee Kevin Brashear (right). (Photo by Ciel Peacock)

Some parents are lawyers, some doctors and some are accountants. However, you don’t find their kids in the same building as them, hard at work each day. Yet for many students with parents who work at their school, this is ordinary. Having a parent who works at the school you attend is a unique experience, one that most high school students will never have.

One parent at the school is an unusual position to be in, but having both parents there is a whole different story altogether, and yet that is reality for senior Sydnie Smith.

Smith explained that her mom, Brooke Smith, is an intervention specialist at the middle school and the Assistant Volleyball Coach at the high school. Her dad, John Smith, is the middle and high school physical education and health teacher as well as the Assistant Football Coach for the high school.

This has been the norm for Smith since around the year 2006 when her family moved to Bexley after her dad got a job as the Assistant Football Coach and her mom joined the school soon after, she said.

Smith explained that there are many positives to having your parents at the school.

“I think you have respect from teachers,” she said. “And it’s just nice, if I ever miss anything or if I forget something or need food, she always has food.”

Similarly, sophomore Helena Sidel said that having her dad, Chevy Sidel, an eighth-grade English teacher, at the school has generally been a positive experience.

“He would help me with my English homework if I was really confused,” Sidel said. “I try not to depend on my dad being an English teacher with me needing help, but it is nice when I’m really stuck on something.”

Freshman Brody Cummins said that he feels that having his dad, Patrick Cummins, a computer science and robotics teacher at the highschool, is very helpful.

Cummins adds that another positive aspect is that a lot of high school students know him because they had his dad.

Junior Fisher Brashear said that having his dad, Kevin Brashear, who works the register at the Starbex Cafe for the elementary school, is nice because he has a trusted adult always nearby.

“I talk to him a ton at lunch, and I can talk to him about how my day is going,” he said.

Freshman Vivienne Frank agreed, and said that the ability to just go across the hall if she needed her dad, Mark Frank, who is a math teacher in the middle school, is one of the biggest positive aspects of having a parent at the school.

However, Frank added that there are some negatives since everyone knows her because of him, it can be embarrassing.

“Everyone knows him and it gets very awkward when they all say ‘Mr. Frank is amazing!’ and stuff like that,” she said.

Brashear said that having a parent who works at the school can sometimes be difficult because his own teachers know his dad.

“If I have a bad grade in a class, teachers can talk to him pretty easily,” he said. “I have to keep my grades good.”

Smith adds that she is always around people that know her parents.

“I have to be mindful of just who’s around me because it’s kind of like how you act reflects how your parents raised you in a sense,” she added.

Smith noted that this has made her a better student overall.

“I have to kind of be on top of things and be more accountable because my parents can’t go home and do stuff for me because they’re doing their own jobs,” she said.

Cummins, similarly to Smith, said that being a teacher is just as difficult.

“It taught me that there’s a lot of work for teachers too, not just for the student,” he said.

Sidel said that she also has learned through her dad to be more understanding and patient with teachers.

“Teachers really do care about their students, I definitely learned that from my dad,” she added.

Smith adds that she feels less worried when waiting for grades to come because she understands the time and effort put into them.

“Overall, it helps me sympathize with teachers, just because I understand what goes on with off days and with kids,” she said.

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Ciel Peacock
Chelsea Wasserstrom is a senior at Bexley High School and is a News Editor for The Torch. Aside from The Torch, she participates in various clubs.