June 20, 2017

Do Parents Make Better Teachers? A Childfree Teacher Responds

Teacher

Teacher (Photo credits: www.myparkingsign.com)

When I read the title of the Slate article Parents Make Better Teachers I was livid!

I’ve spent years dedicating my life to children and education. I didn’t need to have kids of my own to make a difference in the classroom.

Do eye doctors need to have glasses?

Do chefs need to be fat?

Do gynecologists need to have vaginas?

So why the sudden childfree discrimination in education?

Author Sara Mosle writes about her teaching experience as a response to an article in this week’s New York Times about high turnovers at charter schools:

“If you aren’t a parent, maybe this won’t strike you as odd. It wouldn’t have struck me that way more than 20 years ago when I joined Teach for America in the program’s first year and taught for three years in New York City’s public schools. I was single, childless, and clueless about even the most basic aspects of child-rearing. My students’ parents seemed like creatures from another planet, remote and distant from the job I thought I was doing. To the extent I understood family dynamics, it was solely from the perspective of the teenager I’d been just a few years before.

Nearly two decades later, I returned to the classroom, this time as a mother, and have become acutely aware of how being a parent has made me a better teacher.”

Fine. But what about life experience and maturity? Does adding twenty years of life to your resume change anything?

As I read more of the article I learned that the sensational headline was misleading. Besides Sara’s personal story this article says that many charter schools hire recent college graduates to teach and after a few years they leave because there is no room for financial growth or advancement. This turnover makes it difficult for students. Recent grad=cheap labor.

Childfree Teachers are Hot

This has nothing to do with parents being better teachers. So why bring the childfree into it? Because we are HOT! The recent TIME magazine cover article stirred up the debate and got clicks so now even Slate is cashing in on the action. Shame on Slate. Many childfree readers, like me, were annoyed by the deception and blatant childfree attack.

The responses to the article were amazing and worth reading. Childfree teachers called out Slate and the author for baiting the childfree for responses. Go team CF!

Still, it doesn’t seem that people actually read the article. Instead they were responding to the ugly headline, so score one for Slate.

Some of the best comments include this one busting Slate for the obvious lure:

From Tom Tildrum:“Old vs. young, school choice, *and* Mommy Wars? Slate’s editor must have plotzed from excitement when they pitched him this article.”

Other favorites include:
from TravisNelson76:

To suggest that schools should have teachers with relevant life experience is not strange. To suggest, however, (as this article does) that relevant life experience can only come with parenthood is VERY STRANGE INDEED. Who would make a better teacher? An 18-year-old mother with no teaching experience? Or a 45-year-old non-parent with twenty years of teaching experience? This article seems to (VERY STRANGELY) suggest the former.

From NinjaofSin:

“You’re not a parent, you can’t possibly understand”

Bah-loney.

From mh:

I went to Catholic schools. None of the nuns had children, but they were excellent teachers.

Childfree Teachers Rock

If you really want to know what this childfree teacher thinks about this subject check out this WNK post:

My Favorite Teacher Didn’t Have Kids

What do you think childfree teachers?

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Funny- Why No Kids? Black Thumb.

Hopefully this explains everything:

photo-35

Also this: (Who kills succulents??? Me.)

photo-34

In 2002, I had a cactus for almost a month! Eleven years later I decided to try again with little success.

In 1998, I got a puppy! In 1999, I gave it to my folks.Good news: fourteen years later they are not so eager for grandkids!

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Phew! It’s good to be childfree! Also, it’s probably for the best that I don’t have any living things to look after.

 

Friday Funny! Our TIME Magazine response (just kidding)

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The TIME magazine article, “The Childfree Life: When having it all means not having children,” has sparked an electric storm of media attention. It’s a shame the writers at WNK are too busy enjoying a childfree summer on the lake to respond. We kid! No…wait! We DON’T kid! We have a lot to say but we are busy boating AND reading all the articles about the TIME hoopla. We promise to comment soon! For now we offer you a “Friday Funny” and hope that you all remember to laugh a little more today since everyday is Friday when you are childfree!

 

For some reason we find this cartoon hilarious.

Do you agree? Funny or not here we come!

If you have a “Friday Funny” for WNK please share!

The Happiness Project – “Lighten Up” on the Childfree

Cover of "The Happiness Project: Or, Why ...

Cover via Amazon

The NYTimes bestseller by Gretchen Rubin is a year-in-the-life exploration of a writer trying to live her life happier. What does that mean? Each month is broken into a theme: energy, love, play, etc. April’s theme is “Lighten Up” with a subtitle: Parenthood. Hmm. Maybe that means you don’t need to “lighten up” if you don’t have kids or you are already pretty enlightened?
Nope. Not according to the author. Rubin cites a study that says “child
care” is only slightly more pleasant than commuting, and one that says
marital satisfaction declines after the first child is born (picking up
again after they leave the nest). Then she disputes these findings, all
the while complaining about her kids and marital satisfaction mostly
relating to fights about her kids.

“Now as a parent myself, I realize how much the happiness of parents depends
on the happiness of their children and grandchildren.”

Really? But then again the kids did give Rubin a reason to write a bestseller.
We at WNK believe that by being childfree, everyday is a project in
happiness.

From the Happiness Project Blog:

Do your children make you happy? Some research says NO! I say YES!

Read the article here

Hey WNKers have you read The Happiness Project?

 

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Childfree Friday Funny – Sh*t My Kids Ruined

At the end of each week we try to lighten the mood with some childfree humor.

This week let us introduce you to the hilarious  Sh*t My Kids Ruined

After all everyday is a Friday to the childfree!

 

Childfree Celebrity: Vincent Kartheiser (Pete Campbell) of Mad Men

Mad Men

Mad Men (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tonight is the anxiously awaited season six  premier of Mad Men. While the show is always controversial, so are many of the show’s stars. Famously kid free and car free, for environmental reasons, Vincent Kartheiser just got engaged to co-star Alexis Bledel–his mistress on the show. (Big congrats from WNK!)

 

Does that mean we can add Bledel to the childfree celebrity roster? So far no comment from either celebrity regarding their kid or car plans. Like the Mad Men this story could be titled: To Be Continued…

 

 

Not only is Greenie Kartheiser childfree he is also: car-free, meat-free and toilet-free. Is he mad?

Video from msnbc via PopCrunch:

Pete Campbell

Pete Campbell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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Alexis Bledel

Alexis Bledel (Photo credit: gdcgraphics)

Childfree Celebrities: World Leaders Edition–Women’s History Month

at news conference, Women's Action Alliance.

at news conference, Women’s Action Alliance. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Sonia Sotomayor, U.S. Supreme Court j...

English: Sonia Sotomayor, U.S. Supreme Court justice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

On the last day of Women’s History Month let’s celebrate childfree female pioneers in business, education, science, industry and politics.

Let’s pledge to celebrate brave, inspirational childfree women of all flavors all year long!

Fabulous childfree female leaders:

Queen Elizabeth I – Queen of England

Clara Barton – Organized the American Red Cross

Rosa Parks – Civil rights activist

Gloria Steinem – Feminist

Rachel Carson – Conservationist

Sally Ride – First American woman in space

Sonia Sotomayor – Supreme Court Justice

Elena Kagan – Supreme Court Justice

Florence Nightingale – Founder of modern nursing

Juliette Gordon Lowe – Founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA

Susan B. Anthony – Civil rights leader and campaigner for women’s suffrage

Condoleezza Rice –  United States Secretary of State

Mother Teresa – Nun

Nellie Bly – Pioneer female journalist

Joan of Arc – Roman Catholic saint

Helen Keller – Blind and deaf author, political activist, and lecturer

bell hooks – Feminist, and social activist

Angela Davis – Political activist and author

Eva Peron – First Lady of Argentina

Julia Gillard – Prime minister of Australia

Helen Clark – Prime Minister of New Zealand

Temple Grandin -Doctor of animal science and author

Gertrude Belle Elion – Biochemist and pharmacologist who played a key role in developing the AIDS drug AZT. Nobel Prize winner. First woman to be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Margaret Bourke-White -First female war correspondent

Julia Butterfly Hill – Activist and environmentalist, best known for protecting a California Redwood tree by living in it for 738 days

Alice Paul and Lucy Burns – Suffragists who helped the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution in 1920

WNKettes please share the names of other fine women you think should be included on our list!

 

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Childfree Celebrities: Famous Hollywood Edition: Actors and Musicians– Women’s History Month

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Cropped screenshot of Marilyn Monroe from the ...

Cropped screenshot of Marilyn Monroe from the trailer for the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Time for another fun list of childfree celebrities. We could list many famous women who do not have kids but these women have something to say about being childfree and proud!

This time we celebrate our favorite actresses,

Greta Garbo

Greta Garbo (Photo credit: aclbraga)

comediennes, TV personalities and musicians:

Oprah Winfrey – Media guru

Dolly Parton – Actress, singer-songwriter

Betty White – Actress

Janeane Garofalo – Comedian, actress and political activist

Eva Mendes – Actress

Tallulah Bankhead – Actress of the stage and screen

Paulette Goddard – Actress and Broadway performer

Stockard Channing – Actress

Sarah Brightman – English classical soprano, actress, songwriter and dancer

Shirley Manson – Scottish singer and actress, lead singer of rock band Garbage

Claudette Colbert – French-born American-based actress

Lauren Hutton – American model and actress

Mary Chapin Carpenter – American folk and country musician and winner of five Grammy Awards

Mary Pickford – Actress, co-founder of the film studio United Artists and one of the original founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Daphne Zuniga – Actress

Ginger Rogers – Actress, dancer, and singer

Cameron Diaz – Actress, model

Kathy Griffin –  Comedian, actress “It seems like kids don’t have the rights they need. For example a prison sentence for a child molester is so so incredibly low and yet in a way, kids are running the world (in many ways) it revolves around these kids but I don’t feel like we’re really protecting them. I want to really protect kids. I want to give them rights they need, I don’t want to give them the right to annoy me in a restaurant, I want to give them the right not to get molested.”

Caitlin Moran – British TV Personality  “No one has ever claimed for a moment that childless men have missed out on a vital aspect of their existence, and were the poorer, and crippled by it.”

Christine McVie – Singer Fleetwood Mac

Nanci Griffith – Singer, guitarist and songwriter

Bo Derek – Actress, model and animal welfare activist

Bonnie Raitt – American blues singer-songwriter

Jean Arthur – Actress and major film star during the 1930s-40s

Julie Christie – Actress and Academy Award winner, starred in Doctor Zhivago

Lily Tomlin – Actress, comedian and writer

Jaqueline Bisset – Actress

Lara Flint Boyle – Actress

Mae West – Actress and sex symbol

Jean Harlow – Actress and sex symbol

Helen Mirren – Award-winning actress

Marisa Tomei – Actress

Dusty Springfield – British pop singer

Janet Jackson –  Singer, songwriter and actress

Billie Holiday –  American jazz singer and songwriter

Katharine Hepburn –  Actress and winner of four academy awards

Marilyn Monroe – Icon,  actress, singer and model

Liza Minnelli – Actress and singer

Janis Joplin – Singer and songwriter

Stevie Nicks – Singer, member of  Fleetwood Mac

Portia de Rossi – Actress

Bessie Smith – Blues singer of the 1920s and 30s

Debbie Harry – lead singer of Blondie

Pam Grier – Actress

Gloria Gaynor – Singer

Mary Pickford – Actress and co-founder of the film studio United Artists and one of the original 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Bettie Page – Pin-up girl

Ashley Judd – Actress, women’s rights activist “Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it.”

Zooey Deschanel – On kids from a Marie Claire interview:  “Don’t hold your breath waiting for Deschanel to announce a pregnancy, either. “That’s never been my focus,” she said of having children. “I like kids, and I like being around kids, but it was never an ambition, something, like, I need. I like working. That’s what I like doing. I like to work.”

Ava Gardner – Actress

Greta Garbo – Actress

Ellen Degeneres – Television host, actress and stand-up comedian

Margaret Cho – Actress, comedian, women’s rights activist and LGBT rights activist

Maria Callas – Soprano opera singer

Leah Dunham – Writer, director, actress

Kim Cattrall – Actress

Jo Frost – British nanny and television personality, better known as Supernanny

Julia Child – American chef, tv personality and author.

Rachel Ray – TV Chef

Quite an accomplished list! Did we miss anyone WNKies?

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Childfree Celebrities: Famous Authors Edition – Women’s History Month

Cover of "The Second Sex"

Cover of The Second Sex

As a children’s author I once wrote a post about Dr. Suess and other famous kiddie-lit authors that didn’t have kids.

 

You can read it here.

 

Notable female childfree children’s authors include: Margaret Wise Brown, famous for “Good Night Moon,”  Beatrix Potter of “Peter’s Rabbit” fame, and Louisa May Alcott, author of “Little Women.”

 

Here is a list of other famous female writers, authors and journalists who made their mark on the world with their words and not their offspring. It’s quite an impressive club:

 

Elizabeth Gilbert – Author, “Eat Pray Love

 

Marie Colvin – Award-winning American journalist for the British newspaper The Sunday Times

 

Dorothy Parker – American poet, short story writer, critic and satirist

 

Anaïs Nin – Author

 

Melanie Notkin – Founder of SavvyAuntie.com, Author of “Savvy Auntie: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers and All Women Who Love Kids” (Morrow/HarperCollins 2011)

 

Rachel Carson – Conservationist and author of  “Silent Spring”

 

The Joy Luck Club

The Joy Luck Club (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anita Brookner – British novelist and art historian

 

Amy Tan –  American writer best known for her book “The Joy Luck Club

 

Harper Lee – Author, “To Kill a Mockingbird”

 

Marian Keyes – Author

 

Maeve Binchy – Novelist

 

Virginia Woolf – Author

 

Hilary Mantel – Novelist

 

Simone de Beauvoir – Author, “The Second Sex

 

Charlotte Bronte – Author, “Jane Eyre”

 

Edith Wharton – Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist

 

Jane Austen – Author, “Pride and Prejudice,” “Sense and Sensibility”

 

Isek Dineson – (pen name Karen Blixen) author of “Out of Africa”

 

Gloria Steinem – American feminist, journalist and political activist

 

WNKies do you know any other women that should be added to this list?

 

 

 

Childfree Celebrities: Artist Edition – Women’s History Month

Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait, 1940. See discussi...

Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait, 1940. See discussion of her works below. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

So I’m an artist and a woman and I’m a little annoyed that there isn’t an Artist’s History Month. I will celebrate Women’s History Month and bemoan the fact that it’s during crappy mud season, but hey, women are used to getting the shaft. Let’s make a pledge to have Women’s History Month last all year. Let’s celebrate our freedom to make choices and use our voices. We are still questioned about our childfree status and told we can’t “have it all” (which to many means career and children and a happy life). My career, happy marriage, and childfree lifestyle is everything,

 

and my art is my legacy. Here is a list of fabulous female artists (fine arts) who chose to have it all – just not kids! This month I will be including women from other fields who are my childfree (s)heroes!

 

Georgia O’Keeffe – Painter

 

Frida Kahlo – Painter

 

Mary Cassatt – Painter

 

Lee Krasner – Painter

 

Zaha Hadid – Architect “I have not sacrificed my private life. It was not an issue for me. It wasn’t a choice. I don’t think one has to get married. Nor are you obliged to have children if you don’t want them. I didn’t think Oh dear, I can’t have kids – it was never like that, it was not a sacrifice. If I had been with the right person and I’d had kids I’m sure I could have managed”

 

Tracey Emin – Artist. Emin once said that being childless is difficult because “you’re treated like a witch.”

 

Cath Kidson – Designer

 

Coco Chanel – Designer

 

Edith Head – Costume Designer

 

Jessie Wilcox Smith – Illustrator

 

Kate Greenaway – Illustrator

 

Beatrice Wood – Artist

 

Hey WNKers: Can you think of others?