Motherhood adds perspective for Robinson faculty


Photo Ashlea Daniels

Biology teacher stands near a board with photos of her son, Mason.

Ashlea Daniels, Staff Writer

A year and a half ago: It’s 4:00 and finally time for IB Biology teacher Tiffany Oliver to leave the school, but rather than go home, she will drive to USF and spend the better part of her night working on her research. She is a marine biologist that focuses on echinoderms- her brittle stars are her babies- but little does she know that soon she will have an actual one.

While teachers like Oliver spend their days with their life revolving around kids, having their own child adds a completely new perspective to the game.

“People that have kids are better teachers,”said Amanda Batista, mother of two and Assistant Principal of Student Affairs. “They can understand kids and their quirks and their silly ways and that they have different personalities.”

Although having kids as a teacher comes with its benefits, it also comes with sacrifices in order to balance out family life and work.

“It’s just like anyone else who has a lot in there life, you just gotta figure out how it’s gonna work,” Oliver said. “Except in this case you cant just stop being a parent for a night because you want to.”

With a lot of toddlers, five newborns and two more on the way, Robinson faculty is going through its own little baby boom.

“It’s really nice because all of our kids will kind of grow up together so that will be fun, having a lot of little educator babies running around.” said IB Guidance Counselor Henderika George, who is due in October. “[But] getting up the stairs is getting harder.”

Being around students all day and seeing their school lives first hand can make it become difficult for educators to separate their at-school lives from their at-home lives.

“A lot of stuff I see here being in student affairs is a lot of crazy stuff,” Batista said. “So I go home and yell at my kid for stuff he hasn’t done yet.”

Educators get a first-hand look on what parenting looks like through their students lives which can help them discover parenting techniques that they can use themselves.

“I like working with kids and really good parents and seeing what they do and knowing what they do as parents and how involved they are,” Sugar said.

Being at school for the majority of the day makes it a big part of educator’s lives, making maternity leave sometimes hard on the new teacher-parents.

“[I’m going to miss] the students, we’re like a family in a way, I’m constantly with a lot of [them] and teachers,” George said. “The sad part is leaving for some time and missing out on the accomplishments and fun stuff that come from working in a school.”