Parents in the Halls

For most students, seeing their parents in the halls of our school would seem strange, but for some of our classmates, it’s an everyday thing. Instead of just seeing his dad in the halls every once in a while, senior Jed Straessle hears his dad on announcements, sees his dad give the school speeches, and sees his dad in the halls.

“Just like everyone else, I was terrified coming to Catholic, but in a different sense,” said Straessle. “I grew up at Catholic High. I remember crawling under my dad’s desk and playing hide and seek in the halls. I knew about it more than the average student. Teachers already knew who I was; I had to read a love letter to my dad at freshman initiation.”

 On the other hand, junior Whit Wilcox was excited to join the family.“I wasn’t too nervous about coming here,” said  Whit. “I wasn’t worried about my mom [Mrs. Jennifer Wilcox] working here. I had been around the school my whole life, so none of it was new. If anything, it helped sometimes.”

Some teacher’s kids ignore their parents, while others say hello. Whit said, “Sometimes I just say hey, If we’re walking in the same direction, I’ll have a conversation with her about my day. Sometimes I just ignore her.” 

Straessle said, “My first two years when I saw my dad, I’d be like, oh, man, I don’t want him to see me. I don’t want people to see me passing him in the hallways, but the past two years, I’ve kind of enjoyed it. I think it’s kinda funny. It used to be weird, but I don’t think it’s weird anymore. I’ve had to shave a couple of times and every time it happens, my dad knows and he’s like‘You dummy, come on, man.’”

Having a parent at school could be bad for troublemakers.  Wilcox likes to talk a lot, especially in the classroom. He said, “[My mom] tends to hear about everything that happens. Freshman year Coach Owen made me go to my mom’s room in the middle of class to tell her something I said. She usually hears. Mr. Spencer always threatens to tell her, like if I fall asleep in class or talk. I usually get compliments on my mom’s teaching instead of people complaining about the class, but if someone gets chewed out by my mom, I hear about it. It tends to be my friends. 

“One time my mom took a Chromebook from a lunch table and I kept having people come up to me telling me my mom is an op. I have seniors beg me to ask my mom to cancel a test or fix their grades. Whenever I get a bad grade, people are always asking me how I did that. They always think I have free tutoring so I should know it. Even my mom says that I have free tutoring. They never point out when I do good it’s because of my mom, but when I do bad.”

Wilcox plans to take his mom’s class next year. Straessle had a different mindset. “I was thinking about what would happen if I was in his class,” he said. “As cool my dad is and how great his class is, I’ve never wanted it. Being the principal or even the teacher’s kid, as cool as it is, it makes it hard. People think it comes easier to you, but it’s the opposite. It was really hard to deal with at first, but you learn to get used to that. Having him as a teacher would be that all over again.

 “I like to see myself as a smart person, or a good student at least. I could see if I got good grades people would be like ‘Oh, you just got a good grade because it’s your dad.’ 

“Other reasons would be like money reasons. If my dad gave me a good grade, people could say that it’s because he wanted me to get a scholarship or a good grade.” 

While it might sound horrible to some people, Wilcox and Straessle have both enjoyed having a parent at school. Wilcox said, “Having a parent there outweighs the negatives. I would much rather have my mom here than not here. It is convenient because if I forget my football gear, she can bring it. There’s a ton of positives to outweigh the negatives.”

Straessle understands the struggle some kids may have. He said, “People always look for you. Students and teachers are looking at you. Every time you get a good grade, every thing you do right, someone is going to say, ‘Oh, it’s because your parent is a teacher.’  It took me a long time to figure it out. My advice for any teacher’s kid would be to keep your head up if you get a good grade on a test.”

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