Teachers progress along parenthood; experience affects teaching

Three teachers come home to babies ages two months, one year and two years, respectively. Each has a different perspective on the realities of being a parent. IB co-coordinator and history teacher Matthew Axelrod became one of the newest parents at Marshall when his daughter Natalie was born on Jan. 12.

“Babies are just loud and they don’t have a schedule. From one of the books we read [it] seems babies don’t develop a sleep schedule until they’re between two to four months old,” Axelrod said.

For biology and special education teacher Sunny Nieh, who has a one-year-old son named Christopher Rubin, she gets to paint her science knowledge into a more personal reality.

“With my background as a biology teacher, you watch all of the stages of development up into adulthood, which I think is fascinating,” Nieh said.

Although Nieh has had to balance out working and spending time with her child, she has found sleep to be her biggest challenge. “I have probably worked all last year and this year with about four hours of sleep everyday. Just trying to manage staying awake while still being productive everyday, I consider that a burden,” Nieh said.

Spanish teacher Fernando Uribarri is a parent of two-year-old Isabella. “[Parenthood] decreases your level of selfishness.” Uribarri said via e-mail. “With a child you would just do anything for them.”

Uribarri described that the process of becoming a parent progressed his perspective on viewing his students.

“Before I thought the students were kind of my children, but now I try to be done as quickly as possible because I want to get home to my daughter,” Uribarri said. “I can no longer spend hours prepping for a lesson or just being available for students at any time.”

Apart from differences among these teachers at their different stages of the parenthood, what seems to unify all of them is the greater weight of the benefits.

“It’s a whole new level of existence where you don’t matter as much,” Uribarri said via e-mail. “All burdens that I could talk about pale in comparison to the amazing benefits.”