Do you remember showing your parent(s) around your classroom when you were little? Perhaps this is a little too American white bread, but I certainly remember it.
I was all too excited to show them my sleeping mat and cubby hole when I was in kindergarten, and then my desk and the hook for my backpack as I got older in elementary school. In middle school, it became my locker, where I sat for lunch, and my favorite classrooms and teachers, but with just a little less enthusiasm each year. By high school, I was not so animated as I had been as a little girl, but I still loved getting to show my parents or family members around my school. Grandparents Day was one of the coolest things, because I got to do just that with my grandparents. College was a little different, because it’s college. However, I still totally loved showing my parents around my campus and dorms, and introducing them to all of my friends and acquaintances and teachers that I could find. Even when I studied abroad, I reveled in showing them my stomping grounds.
And it was normal at each stage to be showing my parents around the areas. But it is not normal now. Why does that suddenly stop when we become “adults” and being “real jobs”? I don’t know of anyone who shows his or her parents or family members around his/her office.
But now that I am an adult and I have a job (I’ve had many already, actually), my desire to show around my parents and family members hasn’t changed. When my brother was visiting from Japan, I desperately wanted him to come see my classroom, see my apartment. I giddily showed my mom around my first school (for my first full-time teaching job), when I convinced her to come to a dance performance there one evening. My desire to have my parents be able to relate to my everyday has not lessened, not at all. I still want them to see my everyday stomping grounds. And, for the most part, I’ve been able to get them to see a decent amount of it these past few years. Even in Japan, where guests aren’t typically allowed on campus, I got to bring my mom to both of my schools, and she helped teach a cooking class for the English Club at one school, and helped out with English classes at the other.
So, I guess my concern isn’t all too valid after all… I somehow manage to make it happen for me, anyway. However, I do still wish that it were more of a cultural standard to bring one’s parents and/or family members to work, at least for a coffee or tea hour, or something like that, just so they can have a real glimpse of what it all is. I just think it would be way awesome. Kind of like how Open House used to be, where I’d go meet my teachers with my parent/s, and show my parent/s around my school. Man… this would be neat. It also would be very helpful in cross-(whatever the word is for work areas – I’m tired, okay?) interaction and understanding. My dad works in computers and oil & gas. He would be amazed to see my work, and I to see his. They are just such different worlds that we have much to be learned from interacting with one another’s worlds.
I imagine loads of people would be utterly uninterested in this idea, but I hope that loads also would be in full support of it.