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The Perennial

“Mom and Ms. ___”: Children of Teachers Navigate School

William Lloyd
Nerea Amezcua (left) and her mother Profe Collantes (right)

   Many students have had the awkward experience of accidentally calling a teacher “Mom” instead of “Ms.” in class. But for some students, both titles hold true. For eighth graders Nerea Amezcua and Nox Bradley and seventh graders Hattie Kaufmann and Sallie Haun, their home and school lives blend together as they grow up in an environment where their parents are present in both aspects of their lives.

   Kaufmann is the daughter of Brynn Hambly, former fifth grade language arts teacher and current Middle Campus principal. When Kaufmann had her mother as her fifth grade teacher, she disliked the experience immensely.

   “It was really hard,” Kaufmann said. “Sometimes I felt like my mom gave me too much attention…but at the same time, I felt like she didn’t call on me at all.”

   On the other hand, Amezcua, daughter of Spanish teacher Aurora Collantes, enjoyed being in her mother’s class when Collantes was teaching at Lower Campus. 

   “It’s just very easy if there’s a problem,” Amezcua said. “I can always just go to my mom and she’ll help me.”

   Nox Bradley, the son of Spanish teacher Olivia Bradley, even described how he thinks of his mom at home and at school as two separate people. 

   “My mom in class is not my mom, she’s the teacher, but when we get home, she’s my mom,” he said. “I have to separate my mom as the teacher, so there’s like two different people. My mom said she likes the ‘class’ version of me better.”

   As the daughter of Sarah Haun, former principal of Middle Campus and current principal of Lower Campus, Sallie Haun has never been taught by her mother. However, having a parent who already worked at Pinewood came in handy when Sallie Haun first transferred from her old school. 

   “[Having my mom as principal] really helped me with the transition because a lot of new teachers already knew me,” Haun explained. 

   One thing Amezcua, Kaufmann and Haun all agree on is how their relationships with their mothers have been affected. 

   “Honestly, I think it’s made our relationship stronger,” Amezcua said. “We have more of a bond because she knows all the people that I go to school with.”

  However, according to the four students, having a parent as a faculty member has its drawbacks as well. In the past, some classmates were under the impression that the four had special advantages because of their mothers’ positions in the school.

   “When I got the WISCR award, everyone was like, ‘You only got it because your mom’s a teacher,’ and they wouldn’t let it go,” Kaufmann said.

   But Bradley and Amezcua assure that no such claims are true.

   “We still work hard,” Amezcua said. “We’re still just students.”

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