Teacher? Or Counselor?

Friday presented one of those situations in which the mom who is also the homeschool teacher experienced tension with mom who is also a counselor.  I’d given my daughter an assignment out of her spelling book:  Write about something you learned how to do.  Whereas usually writing is cause for distress and drama, she instead announced, “I’m going to write about learning how to wrap presents without a box!”

I affirmed her choice and she was off.  About fifteen minutes later, she announced she was finished and I looked at her work.  She’d gotten distracted from her plan and instead had spent the majority of her paper on visiting the counselor, why she’d gone and how she’d felt.  *sigh*  The teacher thought, “I need to either really take off points or have her rewrite this to fit the assignment.”  The counselor (and really, that side is strongest in me, anyway) determined that, if she needed to write about her counseling, then she needed to get that out.  In the end, I praised her for writing in her newly discovered voice, commented on what I’d noticed and gave her a B-.

It raised a dilemma, though.  It also made me realize that I’m never “just” teacher or “just” chaplain/counselor or “just” mom.  I am often all these things at one time.  Did I handle this the right way?  I’m confident that I did, given my daughter’s needs.  What would you have done similarly or differently?

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