My Mom Goes To School With Me

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Maxine J. Payne, student-journalist

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They may keep it a secret, and they might not, but at Clairemont High School, there are a few students who have a parent working on campus, and depending on who the child is, it may or may not affect them.

“I started working in the office after my children got enrolled, although I have been mentoring here for 10 or 11 years before that, so well before any of my kids came here I was a part of the school,” said CHS secretary Ms. Fulton, who currently has two daughters on campus.

Students who do not have a parent on campus may also wonder what it is like to have a parent on campus. Some may assume it is helpful, others may think it can be embarrassing.

Sophomore Lily Fulton, the youngest daughter of Ms. Fulton, said, “It is really nice because I feel more supported by my mom at school and whenever I need help with something I can just go to the office and ask her.”

A few of the staff kids may enjoy having a parent work on campus, for reasons like having a place to put unneeded school supplies or lunches. While others may not, thinking it is embarrassing or it just annoys them.

“Something that is annoying is that people who know me and that I have a parent working on campus would come to me to find information about the school or office thinking that I would know everything that they want to know when I do not. I would rather have them just come to talk to me because they’re my friend and not because I’m the child of a school staff member,” said the second daughter of Ms. Fulton, senior Chloe Fulton.

Although it could also put pressure on the students to do better. They may think that having a parent close to them for most of the day working at their school makes them have high expectations they have to meet.

“Having my mom on campus doesn’t really pressure me since I already try my best in school and my mom knows I do,” said Lily.

Ms. Fulton is not the only parent working at CHS, there are a few more. Some of the others work in their own classrooms like Special Education teacher Ms. Esselstine.

Ms. Esselstine said, “About 15 years ago I started working for Clairemont High School as an Education Specialist in the Special Education Department. So I started working at CHS before my children attended.”

Most staff kids do think having a parent on campus can help their relationship. By having each other close for a longer time period helps the kids and the parent have a stronger kinship.

“Having my mom work at school definitely helps our relationship,” said CHS Senior Megan White, the oldest daughter of Ms. Esselstine, “We consider each other best friends since we basically spend all day and every day together.”

No matter if it does or does not pressure the student, their parent is most likely aware that being in the school could affect them in some way. The adult may think that for the reason they work on campus and know their child’s assignments and classes it can put a load on them.

Ms. Esselstine said, “Most likely yes because I push my children to be their best. I know this is a cliché but as an educator, it is pretty much my life. But, I also think our school has expectations to be productive. For example, as a whole, our staff pushes student education to have rigorous coursework, activities, and projects.”

Whether or not students have a parent on campus or not, it does not matter. Having a parent working in the school barely changes anything about the student.