Covenant is a small school, so let’s be real: there are plenty of faculty-kid students at Covenant, and we all know who most of them are, as well as who their parents are and what they do. As a faculty-kid junior at Covenant (with not one, but two parents teaching here), I have come across my fair share of students (some of them my best friends) who misinterpret that status in various ways. It has been both hilarious and hurtful at times to experience throughout my years at Covenant. In the interest of spreading awareness, I would like to bring to light a few of the ways that these judgements have affected me and other faculty kids, and offer some alternate perspectives on how to love faculty kids well.
First, don’t assume I’m here because my parents teach here. Every student is different. One faculty-kid friend of mine came for free tuition and stayed because she fell in love with the community around her. For another, it was a newfound Christianity and a desire to pursue God that drew him in. I personally came to Covenant for strong academics, for a grounding in Scripture, and for the community that I had witnessed since I was a little girl. I saw something special happening and I wanted to be a part of it. Most Covenant students do not mindlessly follow their parents here, and to assume that is to downplay how important this school is in most of our lives.
Second, don’t assume that I’m automatically good at whatever it is my parents teaches. My mom runs the Math Center at Covenant, and as much respect as I have for the discipline, I probably could not pass Algebra 2 again if I had to. Math is not my forté and never has been, no matter how many other ways I may be like my mother. The same goes for children of science or theology or education professors. They will not necessarily be passionate about exactly the same things as their parents. It is considerate and generous to offer these students the same freedom to choose that other students have, rather than judging them based on their parents’ pursuits.
Conversely, don’t assume that a student is only good at something because of their parents. If a student happens to love the same thing their parent teaches, chances are it comes from personal hard work and study as well as their parent’s cultivation. Don’t diminish their contributions to the subject by assuming they must have learned it from their parent.
Finally, don’t assume I talk to my parents about you. As the title of this article suggests, I don’t talk to my parents about your assignments, I don’t talk to them about their grading processes, and I probably don’t keep track of their calendars and syllabi enough to even know what is going on in your class (unless I am in it). I talk to my parents about events in my life or whether or not I will be coming over for Friday night pizza, not how they plan on grading the next midterm for such-and-such class or what the requirements might be. We are not tell-all wizards when it comes to our parents’ thoughts, so please take your homework to the Writing Center (or Math Center, or Language Lab, or Biology tutors) instead. They are great resources!
The next time you talk to a faculty-kid student, remember that although they are likely proud of their professor parent, they also want to be their own distinct person here at school. Hopefully, this article helps clarify some ways to do that, and celebrate these unique Covenant students in their own right as individuals trying to figure out their place and passions.