Teaching and Motherhood: A Loy Norrix Teacher Shares her Experiences

Guest Writer M.Deary

“The day that I gave birth to my first child was the most amazing day of my life,” said Kelly Stetten.

Kelly Stetten, a Loy Norrix English and chemistry teacher, fell in love with her husband in high school. Now, more than a decade later, they are married with 3 kids.

Stetten gives her perspective on what life is like being both a mom and a teacher. She loves teaching, but her number one priority is to be a strong mother to her children. She has three kids, ages 3, 5, and 8.

As a mom, Stetten disagrees with the messages in media. She disagrees with the way most things are highly sexualized, especially in rap music which has a main focus of talking about money, sex, drugs and violence. Audrey, Stetten’s 8 year old daughter, introduced her to “Ju Ju on That Beat” which is a rap song.

“I was so disgusted when I heard a line that said, ‘you ugly, you your daddy’s son,’” said Stetten.

When Stetten confronted Audrey about this song, she said she heard it at school when a kid danced to it during the talent show.

“Are we teaching kids that we can say that stuff? Are we teaching kids that what is being said in those songs is okay?” said the maternal voice inside Kelly.

Today more and more children are being introduced to mature subjects many years before they should even know that they exist. Society is normalizing sex as if it is not a big deal, yet society sexualizes everything. According to a study conducted by Wesleyan University, of two thousand advertisements from fifty different magazines, 50 percent of the ads showed women as sexual objects.

Stetten feels very passionate about her kids and she wants to raise them to be strong and thoughtful, but she feels like they won’t be thoughtful if they are exposed to this type of music at such a young age.

Not only does Kelly Stetten want to help her kids grow, but she also wants to help her students grow too.

“My favorite part of teaching is building relationships with students and helping them grow as people and academically,” said Stetten.

However, she has noticed that many students have a feeling of apathy. Statistics show that an upwards of 40 percent of high school students are chronically disengaged from school.

“Out of the one hundred and forty kids I see everyday, at least half of them show apathy. Some won’t even pick up a pencil, and honestly you have to work harder to fail my class then you do to pass it,” said Stetten.

Kelly was raised by her parents who told her that education is important, and it really bothers her to see that some students don’t even care about their education.

As a Christian, Kelly has a firm grip on her philosophy of life. As a mother this really impacts her children because Kelly raises them according to her beliefs. She believes that you should be kind to others and as long as you are kind, stand up for what is right, and do your best then you can leave the rest up to God, and things will turn out the way that they are supposed to. Something that she believes was God’s doing is a story about her great grandmother.

Way back in the day, Stetten’s great grandmother was on her way to Ellis Island from Germany. She was three years old and traveling with her parents. Back in the 1900’s they built boats by hand. Her great grandma leaned over the side of the boat to look at the water and she tumbled over. She would have tumbled to her death but thankfully where she had fallen off there had been a nail that a worker had forgotten to completely nail in and her skirt got caught on it and then she was saved.

Kelly Stetten helps others because she feels like God saved her great grandmother for a reason. She feels like the reason her grandma’s skirt got caught on that nail was because God wanted her lineage to continue so Stetten could be born to help students reach their full potential and so that she can raise her kids in the best way possible. Stetten believes that everything happens for a reason and it all contributes to a bigger plan.

“My family is the best part of my life and I love them,” said Kelly Stetten.

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