Mrs. Mom and Mr. Dad


Michael Jaeger

CHAMINADE–Imagine a world where a letter home from a teacher to a parent is just a short trip down a hallway, or a quick chat in the teacher’s lounge at lunch. Imagine not being able to fabricate any sort of excuse for poor grades because your parent can just talk to your teacher as they walk into work in the morning. Imagine your parent knowing every aspect of your life away from home because he or she follows you from work to school every single morning. This may sound like a nightmare for some students, but for those students whose parents happen to be faculty at Chaminade, this is a reality.

For most students, the school day is a time away from home. No matter what the life is like at home, time spent at school is often a place where the student can remove himself from the common home environment and express himself differently amongst friends and teachers. Let’s be honest, most high school teens act much differently around their peers than they do at home. I’m fairly sure that all high school boys can relate to the age-old question of “How was school today?” from mom or dad after a long day at the office. Often, a simple “Good” or “Fine” will suffice, which allows the student to withhold any information he needs to about a bad test score, a disciplinary infraction, or anything else he just doesn’t feel like talking about.

With a teacher/parent at school with you though, this whole dynamic changes. Now your parent doesn’t even have to ask. They already know the drama that happened in the lunchroom, or what happened during the all-school assembly because they were there watching it right alongside you.

There are about 6 or 7 Chaminade students whose parents are also faculty members at Chaminade. Now, while to the parent, this may seem as a huge plus: free tuition, and more special time with your favorite son, to the son, this may be a different story. Some kids quiver at the idea of even having one parent at school to serve French fries in the lunch line. At least then they get to pick between mom or dad, undoubtedly choosing whoever would embarrass them the least. But for Chaminade senior Vincent Laury, both mom and dad follow him to school every single day. Vincent’s parents are both well-respected art teachers here and have been for some time. I was able to talk to Vincent about what it was like to have both parents in school with him every day of the year.

When asked if there are any advantages to having his parents on campus, Vincent said, “Absolutely. I get to school on time every single morning and I have a really close parking spot in Weber lot. I also go to school here for free. They understand what I’m talking about when I go home and talk to them about things that happened at school. They know who I’m talking about.”

Conversely then I asked if there were any disadvantages. Vincent was shorter in his answer to this one: “They chaperone dances.” Vincent was quick to say that even this isn’t really that weird. When asked if he ever wished he could have a Chaminade experience all to himself, he admitted that at times he did, but that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages in the long run. It was interesting to hear how there really can be advantages to having a parent for a teacher.

To get a different point of view though I spoke to another Chaminade senior, Logan Miller, whose parents do not teach at Chaminade, to see if would appreciate the same life as the Laury’s. When asked if he ever wished that his parents could follow him to school, Logan replied with much conviction,  “No. Not at all. I don’t think I could be my own person around my friends and my teachers. All the teachers would formulate opinions on me based on how my parents were.” This was a point I hadn’t yet thought about. For Vincent, whose parents are well respected among the Chaminade community, he doesn’t have to worry about much backlash or negative preconceptions about him based on his last name. But I couldn’t imagine what life would be like for students whose parents are more or less considered “memes” among the Chaminade community.