12 May


“Mommy! Mommy!” Were the words uttered by a high pitched voice as I made my way across the school’s compound in the boiling sun. But of course I didn’t I respond because I didn’t know or even expect someone to be referring to me. I suddenly felt a small pair of arm engulf my waist accompanied by the words: “mommy why you ignoring me? You didn’t hear me calling you”? I turned my head in the direction of the voice and was met with the most radiant smile and full eyes shining bright with excitement. The polite teacher came to the fore and I smiled, return the embrace and explain my ignorance to the title. (All this time while smiling I am saying in my mind: God, why this picney think I’m her mommy)
But, you know what, she is good student, so the pleasantries ended just as they had began as she merrily skipped off to class.

Weeks later, loitering in the school yard with a colleague and I heard the familiar expression “hi mommy” but this time it was not directed at me and it wasn’t my supposedly “daughter”. Another young lady has decided to bestow upon my colleague the title of mommy. As I watched the interaction between the two, I smiled and thought it was an appropriate title.

I believe if the students did not genuinely feel like teachers treated them as their own children, then they would not have had this sense belonging to use such title.

I could outline several stories of how motherly teachers can be but I would not be finished. As I write, the one that jumps out at me was call I received late one night…



It’s 10:30pm.   The loud ring of the phone rudely interrupted the savoring intimate moment  in bed having with one of my scintillating John Grisham book. I uttered unintelligibly sounds (I call them that because no phrase was completed I’m sure) and angrily grabbed the phone. When I look at it I didn’t know the number but I was ready to tell the person on the other end of the line a piece of mind but I was beaten to it. As I pressed the answer button, an irate voice came through:
“miss Reid, you better talk to da picney ya because me naa go put up wid har; it look like stick bruck inna har ears. She nuh seem to listen to nobody but miss, me a tell yuh, it goin be judgement in yah…”
And she went on and on. I listen and when I thought she was finished ranting, I inquired what the problem was, then I connected with the child. I will not go into the details of the incident.

I recalled this to highlight the motherly role teachers play in the lives of their students.
Teachers play multiple roles daily. They are mothers. So much so that some become burnt out and have nothing left for their families. Ever heard the saying that teacher picney (meaning: child) bad? Well one reason (and I’m going out on a limb here) may be that they are so busy during the days nursing & parenting students, there is not much left to give their children when they get home. (Look, I have no empirical data to support this hypothesis so don’t start going kittens about it but… it is something worth considering). It is worth considering because we often do not look at the psychological effect the rigors of teaching may have on teachers. I draw this conclusion based on an assimilation I’m making with another situation. Last August (2013) I analyzed some data for the Child Development Agency (CDA) of Jamaica and the findings showed serious psychological implications on the part of caregivers. A caregiver in one state home facility complained about not wanting to face her kids or deal with them when she gets home in the evenings because of the strain of the day. Now, when I examine the situation, I realized that some of the issues in those state run homes are similar to some in some schools. So I conclude that if these caregivers feel that way then it may be the same for some teachers…anyway let’s get back on track.

The fact is, students are left in the care of teachers each day and it is our duty to do what’s right by them. A friend of mind posted a facebook question recently asking if we were “teachers or cheaters” (thanks for that Alcia Morgan). Teachers do not relinquish the motherly role. Each child is seen as your own. As hard a task it may seem, the students and the biological parents do appreciate it. If you have failed to mother these students, then you are in the category of a cheater.

It may not be a financially rewarding profession but remember, mothers do not get financial reward. The satisfaction of a student coming back to say thanks ( even if it is one out of the hundreds/thousands you have interfaced) is just as rewarding as a biological child being their parents pension..and who knows, one of your students may very well become your pension. I’m just saying…

With teachers day just past, today being mothers day, I want to take the time out to say…Happy mother’s day teachers



  1. AnsordEarl May 15, 2014 at 9:37 pm #

    wow! nice.


  1. TEACHERS ARE MOTHERS TOO! | educatordorrainereidinspires - May 12, 2014


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