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The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

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Shared hallways, relatable experiences

Students, staff with relatives at ETHS enjoy the ability to connect during school, better understand their relatives’ lives

School and work isn’t always enjoyable for everyone, but having a family member with you at school, or your place of work, can be very beneficial and make it better.

ETHS junior Elias Ginsberg  finds it very beneficial to have his dad, Civics teacher Andrew Ginsberg, at school with him.

“I’m proud of the fact that I’ve never once eaten in the school cafeteria for three years,” said Ginsberg. “The convenience factor is certainly a plus; I can leave all my stuff and eat lunch with my friends in his room.”

Normally, parents and their children go separate ways during the school day, parents go to work and children go to school. But in this situation and many other staff member’s and student’s situations, the parent’s job is at their kid’s school, and the other way around.

“It is nice to have Elias around,” stated Ginsberg. “When I changed careers to become a teacher, I thought it would be nice—even if it was unlikely—for Eli and I to go to the same school. When he was younger, it made me a little sad that he would be at school more hours than he was with me.I don’t really have that problem anymore.”

As a parent, having your child as a student at your place of work makes it easier to be able to prioritize and navigate both work and family at the same time.

“Eli being around doesn’t affect my routine that much. He comes by for lunch so I can check in if needed,” saidsays Ginsberg. “Once in a while, I need to do parenting stuff like turning in a form or something like that. Once in a while, I need to navigate a day where I am more focused on teaching than parenting or vice versa.”

Counselor Denise Chaitkin has two sons at ETHS, and also reports that having her kids at school with her doesn’t negatively impact her daily routines.

“I think that as long as we set clear boundaries, it’s pretty easy to navigate,” says Chaitkin. “It doesn’t really impact the routine too much. They kind of know when there’s a certain sign, like if the door’s closed, they’re not able to access me at that time.”

Families make memories together at home, but if family members are together during the day in the same school building five days a week, memories are made in the school as well. 

“During Elias’s second week of 9th grade, I had to meet Ms. Button in the library and Eli’s Humanities class was in there. He nearly died of embarrassment,” recalled Ginsberg. “I thought it was so bizarre but I tried to put myself in the shoes of a 14 year old starting at a new high school, especially returning from COVID, and it helped me understand.”

When teachers have a child as a student at the school they work at, they can have the regular parental experience of watching their child grow up and have new experiences, both from home and from school (usually from more of a distance when in school). Parents working alongside their children in school allows them to have a firmer grasp on how their child is as a student—which, in turn, can also help teachers understand other students as well.

“Watching Eli go through the school helps me understand the environment from the perspective of students better,” said Ginsberg. “This is helpful to me as a teacher because I feel more empathy with students’ struggles, and can relate to them better. Also, it is great to be walking down the hallway and run into Eli’s teachers who let me know how much they’ve enjoyed having him as a student. It’s very heartwarming.”

Experiences can vary and there are highs and lows to everything, but having a family member at your place of work, or at your school, seems to be a factor that’s far more on the positive side than on the negative side.

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Hope Vezner
Hope Vezner, Staff Writer
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