September 3: Working with my kids

Today is Friday, so it is the weekend here in Jordan. That means I do not have a class to reflect on today, but since I signed up for a 30 day challenge, I reckon I’ll write a little anyway.

This is the first year that both of my own children are in the middle school with me and also the first time I have ever taught one of them. My oldest is in one of my design tech 2 classes. I was not sure how it would feel, and to be quite honest I was a little worried about it feeling awkward. Now it has only been three classes, but so far it has been pretty cool. I get to see him as a learner and interacting with his peers and he gets to see what all the fuss is about all the other middle school students before him saying I am the best teacher ever. Ok, maybe I made that last part up, but it is cool that he gets to see what I do everyday too.

It also means I have an insider giving me feedback. We work out together in the afternoons and he is, so far, eager to talk about the class and give me his insight into how things went and what he thought about some of the work we’ve done so far. It has been pretty awesome to hear him be excited about what we are doing and to talk about his ideas for the current project.

We talked a lot about him being in my class over the summer. He would occasionally pitch to me ideas for projects he might work on and ask what sorts of things I had planned. We also discussed what he would call me. It was a bit of a confusing space. Would it be awkward if he called me ‘Dad’ in class or should he call me ‘Mr. Harwood’ like everyone else? We weren’t really sure. But we found out this week that Dad works just fine when he called me over for some help during class. None of his peers flinched and he just kind of laughed when he heard himself say it so we both just shrugged and moved on.

It was also pretty awesome to hear him share his thoughts on our designs of the day. I can totally see how it would be weird for him to answer my questions in front of his friends, but he has jumped in and shared his thoughts. I also have to brag a little too as my heart swelled when during one conversation he pointed out the toxic masculinity that was embedded in the design. It was hard not to run over and hug him. Sometimes, it feels like you’ve been doing things right.

Alright, I did get his permission to write about him today, but I won’t ramble on any further, but I will add a pic or two of us.

Summer fun with my boy
We also occasionally get to rock together

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