January 21, 2004
I taught in split grade situations for many years, and so have had the opportunity to teach my four sons for years. The biggest key I found was to be scrupulously fair, perhaps leaning ever so slightly to being tougher on my own kids. Sometimes (not often) they complained about it, but then I would ask them, So, how would it be if I told the class what a wonderful essay you had written and used samples from it for a writing activity? They usually turned green at the implications for them of any favoritism on my part. I was also determined to never mention anything at home that came out of class or assist with homework beyond what I think any parent would do. (I would ask if they had homework but never remind them of the assignment I had given!) A little humor is useful also, Hmmm, I'll need to talk to your Dad about that or So, Mr. Hazeltine, what do you think? I never said anything to the class about our relationship, and it sometimes took new kids several weeks to realize we had the same last name and were related!