My Son’s Kindergarten Teacher Has Eight Kids. Here’s What She Taught Me About Motherhood.


The first thing I knew about my son’s kindergarten teacher was that she would be missing the first four weeks of the school year while she was on maternity leave.

What I was stunned to learn next was that she had just had her eighth child. As in, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, EIGHT KIDS. No multiples. All under 11.


The fact that she was ready to come back and teach a bunch of 5-year-olds full-time told me two things:

1) She must really love her job.

2) She must have some thangs (yes, thangs) figured out about life and motherhood.

She came back from her maternity leave in late September and hit the ground running. She worked with the kids to get them into a routine, setting up her expectations and outlining all the fun things they’d get to do that year. She told us parents all she has ever wanted to do was teach (see #1 above) and she would love our kids like her own.

Now that the school year is basically over, I have to say I was correct on both counts. She is an amazing teacher and I’m happy she decided to continue to teach. (Personally, I’d be a stay-at-home mom after baby #5, but the fact that she manages it all inspires me.) Here’s just a few of the lessons I’ve picked up from her over the year:

Children won’t break if you give them a bit of responsibility

I was driving myself crazy in the mornings, trying to simultaneously cook breakfast, pack lunches, sign permission slips, and get the kids out of the house by 8:40.  When I would visit my son in school, I was surprised at how much responsibility he had in the classroom and how well he completed the tasks assigned to him. “What do you mean he runs papers to the office?” I asked incredulously. I realized I had been babying my son because well, he was my baby. If he could no longer needed me to open his Gogurts, then I no longer had a “baby” in the home. But I quickly realized I was doing my kids a disservice by doing everything for them. Now they have their tasks (packing lunch, monitoring which papers need signatures, etc.) and I’ve got breathing room. With eight kids at home and 20+ kids in her classroom, his teacher has learned that teamwork makes the dream work!

“Eh, it’s okay” is your motto when you live with children

You can’t be uptight and a good parent. I was incredibly uptight when my daughter was born, but by the time my son arrived 18 months later, I had relaxed a bit. I was no longer stressing about every little thing and I was able to enjoy the chaos that accompanies children. My son’s teacher has had a few days where her big plans for a fun day got rained out or the supplies disappeared or something else went wrong. But she took it in stride and moved on to the next, something I’m still learning how to do.

Every once in a while, you have to go big

So much of parenthood is boring. Laundry, dinner, bath time, carpooling here and there. You’ve got to have some excitement to break up the monotony. My son’s teacher impressed the hell out of me for “Pajama Day.” All the kids came to school dressed in (what else?) their pajamas and she brought a griddle and cooked 50 pancakes for her students to eat while they read books and did crafts. Like, what? I can barely make breakfast for my two kids and she managed to just whip up 50 pancakes and no one burned down the classroom. Incredible.

Have you learned anything from your child’s teacher? Share in the comments!






  1. As president and founder of the “one and done” club for parenting, I’m in awe of anyone with more than one child. I’m the star of my son’s show for all of his waking hours.
    Kudos to her…and you.

  2. Im impressed. I’ve always wanted a large family being that I was an only child. I’m a teacher as well and I think reality hits you “If I can manage 22 4 and 5 year olds all day, why CANT I have a big family?” And you just go for it. Systems and routines are key though! Great article.