Students with faculty parents: Mixing home with school life


Credit: Courtesy of Damien Parseghian

Wellness teacher Scott Parseghian has two kids in the school: junior Dante Parseghian and sophomore Damien Parseghian. “I’ve been looking forward to spending, I think probably the most impactful four years of a student’s life, with [my kids] in both the school hallways and on the football field or the wrestling mat,” Scott Parseghian said.

Ellie Tyska and Meredith Prince

While most students part ways with their parents in the morning, some students spend the entire day in the same workspace as their parents. These students are the children of faculty members which, according to the students and their parents, comes with both advantages and disadvantages.

“[Having kids in the school has been beneficial because] we get to talk about the same things at the dinner table,” K-12 wellness director Scott Parseghian said. “I know exactly what their day looks like or what they went through. It helps smooth [conversations] out.”

Parseghian also feels that being in school with his kids, junior Dante Parseghian and sophomore Damien Parseghian, makes it easier to talk about occurrences in the school, especially controversial ones.

“When things are going bad, or when we had things like the ‘Cool Runnings’ situation or any of that stuff, we’ve been able to talk about that and get their input and hear where I’m coming from as a teacher,” Scott Parseghian said.

Alongside making conversations about school easier, students with faculty parents have a guaranteed ride to school almost every day.

“[Having a parent as a teacher is] helpful for rides, [because] every time my dad goes to school, I’m going to school,” Damien Parseghian said. “It’s pretty convenient.”

Although having a ride to school is helpful, it comes with a disadvantage for some of the teachers and their kids. Because many faculty members do not live in Wayland, they must travel from other towns every morning.

“I don’t live in Wayland, and it has been hard because of the 45-minute ride to school,” senior Ally Goldin said. “It takes time away from homework and hanging out with friends, but luckily for me, I have some awesome friends who will let me sleep over at their house sometimes so I don’t have to go back and forth [between Clinton and Wayland].”

Ally Goldin’s mother, Gwen Goldin, teaches English at WHS. Ally Goldin finds herself spending a lot of a time waiting before and after school because of the long distance. The kids of faculty members spend a lot more time with their parents throughout the school day than other students.

“It’s tough as a parent,” Gwen Goldin said. “Waiting for them a lot is not easy, because we get home really late when they’re in season. Sometimes being that close to what [they’re] doing and experiencing with classes or with friends [makes me] feel too close to them.”

Being a teacher and parent of a student at the same time comes with challenges, but the parents acknowledge how it can be helpful for their kids as well.

“I know when Brian needs lunch money, a ride home or things signed. He doesn’t mind me being here,” study hall teacher Janet Carmichael said.

Another benefit for parents of students working in the high school is getting a glimpse into the personal life of their child and their friends. Teachers are able to better understand the struggles of students in general through their child and learn more about the life of a student.

“I am so impressed every day with how hard students work and how respectful, kind and inclusive they are,” Janet Carmichael said. “It gives me great hope for this generation and keeps me young.”

Not only do some of these kids share the same school as their parent, but, in some cases, they also may share the same classroom. Some of the faculty member kids have had the chance to have their own parent as their teacher.

“When I was a freshman I had [my mom] in study hall,” Brian Carmichael said. “She treated me differently than other kids. It was fine. I wouldn’t let her push me around.”

One difficulty that the student might face when being taught by their parent is trying not to call them “Mom” or “Dad” in order to keep formality as other students would.

“I’ve had both [of my kids] in fitness class, and it’s been pretty good, besides telling them not to call me Dad but Coach P, which is tough I’m sure,” Scott Parseghian said. “Other than that, it hasn’t been a problem at all.”

Overall, both the parents and kids enjoy having each other’s company while in school. In addition to learning more about one another’s lives, faculty parents are able to be more involved with the Wayland community.

“Working here I have a rare insight into the pressures both socially and academic that many students feel, which has helped me understand my own children better,” Janet Carmichael said. “It’s [helped] me to be more understanding and compassionate to the needs of all students.”