By: Amy Bean Napier
My mom was a teacher for 35 years, so basically all of my life, my brother and I have been known as “teacher’s kids”. Sometimes that was a good thing and sometimes it was not. But both my brother and I have found that many of the lessons and skills learned as teacher’s kids have helped us be successful in our careers and lives!
Access: As teacher’s kids, we had access to the school after hours. Remember all those sidewalks you had to walk down in a line during school hours? Since my brother and I were always at the school, we were able to skate and skateboard down those same sidewalks! This was a great benefit for kids that lived on a dirt road! And it taught us that when something is accessible, take advantage of all it has to offer.
Tools: Because we were teacher’s kids, we learned early on how to best utilize the many tools of the educational trade. Some of the most exciting tools we mastered included:
Scissors – I can cut a row of dancing bears holding paws in about 10 seconds flat, plus anything else that I may need at home or work. Doesn’t the CAE exam have a question about the safety and use of scissors within an association under Domain 1: Organizational Management?!
Glue – Glue is not just for sticking paper together, but can be used to clear coat old desks and books, can be mixed with starch to make homemade silly putty or with shaving cream to make puff paint. Its many uses are unlimited!
Glitter – While not everything that glitters is gold, everything can be glittered up and made to shine! Nothing was taboo to a teacher (or her kids), so we had glittered notebooks, shoes, tables (clear coated with glue to keep the glitter in place) and even glittered our dog’s toenails one year at Easter!
Utilizing tools of the trade in different ways than they were meant to be used has taken both my brother and I far in life. Both of us can come up with a solution for anything on the fly by utilizing whatever we have around…duct tape anyone?! And knowing how to use scissors, glue and glitter has been very helpful many times over the years as an association management professional!
Networking: All the teachers knew us because we were always around, so my brother and I developed a vast network of highly educated professionals that we could call upon when we needed to. When I just couldn’t figure out that Algebra II word problem about how long it would take to travel to Toledo on a school bus full of goats, I could always go directly to the math teacher after hours and get help! And when my brother got in trouble for whatever he was in trouble about (which was quite often), he knew the best person to call on for support! Networking is an important skill to have in any career and knowing the right people to call upon when the need arises is a key component to a successful career.
Knowledge: Probably the most important thing we learned as teacher’s kids was the importance of knowledge. We were surrounded by books and professionals who loved to teach and share their knowledge and that love of learning definitely rubbed off on both of us! As the old saying goes, knowledge is definitely power and being knowledgeable on any and everything has helped lead both my brother and I to be successful business owners and knowledgeable people on a variety of subjects. Some topics of which are very obscure and will probably never be used. But if the opportunity ever arises, we will be armed and ready with the knowledge and power to overcome any obstacle!
Being a teacher’s kid taught my brother and me many skills and habits that have served us well over the years. And I wouldn’t trade the experience for any amount of money. Well, maybe a better retirement fund for my mom so she and I can travel the world, gain more knowledge and help glitterize the universe!