Sunday, February 20, 2011

What is Family and How Does it Affect Us?

What is family? Some might say they're parents. If you have a mother, father, brother or sister and grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins then most would say you have a family. Things today are nothing like they were back in the 50's or 60's or even the 90's for that matter. The family is no exception. "Leave It To Beaver" was a television show from the 1950s-60s that depicted what a family should look like. They had a dog, a white picket fence and lived in a nice suburban home. The father went to work while the wife stayed home and kids went to school. In the year 2011, the word "family" can be seen as many different things. A person's family can consist of two dads, just one mother or just a sister. The term family can also be used in many other different arenas. 

I remember the days when I used to play high school football and high school track and field. I remember my teammates and how close we were. Many times we referred to ourselves as "family" Now it obvious none of us were related but we shared a camaraderie because we were together almost everyday practicing, playing games, and attending the same school. I was able to e-mail one of my old teammates from my track team and let's call him Mike. I asked Mike what family meant to him and he replied with "family can be your mom and dad, brother and sister but for me a family are people who I can trust and people who I know will get me through tough times. They don't need to be blood related they need to show that they care for you and are willing to give you the shirt off their back for you." 
Many of us probably have played a team sport sometime in our lives and consider those people "brothers" or "sisters". Why? Because they posses traits that we like or practice ourselves. Spend enough time with those people and eventually you consider them part of your family because you see yourselves as one unit, accomplishing goals and looking after one another. I e-mailed another friend of mine from high school and asked her what she believed the word family meant and she replied with "I consider my best friends as part of my family. Yeah sure I have a mom and dad and brother along with extended family, but I feel as though me and friends were separated at birth almost lol You're bonded by beliefs and morals/values and common interests. You don't have to be blood related to be a family. Love is the glue that binds us all together and I love my friends and would do anything for them" 

My Brother and I New Years 2011
People everywhere have different opinions of what a "family" is. But how does family affect us in school? Think about this... can you remember the first day of school? How nervous or excited you were? Who was with you when you got on the bus or walked you into class? Chances are it was someone you consider family. If you had trouble in school with homework or a bully or trouble in a sport who did you talk to? Probably someone you consider family? I believe family is the back bone for students! Why do you think there are parent-teacher conferences? Because family members have a direct role in the attitude students have about school and their values, morals, work ethic, etc. I know my parents are very involved with what I do and are probably reading this right now! (Hi mom and dad) Other students however might not be as lucky to have someone who cares and look for people that care for them. We as educators need to be aware of students that need a role model and be that role model and backbone for them, pushing them and instilling a positive attitude and good values to help over come any problems they may face. Many students may not have a good home life and it affects school work, sleep, and attitude. If nobody steps in by the time they enter middle school or high school they're ready to drop out because nobody cared. I have a best friend in the NAVY and I also contacted him about the importance of his "family" and what role they played in supporting him during tough times. He replied with "My family and friends are like crutches, they're always there for support. I wouldn't consider many people apart of my family but I have my mom, dad, sister and her husband along with my nieces, in addition to six friends I can truly say I'd do anything for and I know they'd do the same in return. I have faced many obstacles while in the NAVY and sometimes it's hard because I miss everyone and I want to just come home, but my family is always there for me pushing me to be the best I can be. I can honestly say I don't know what I'd do without them. The love and support I receive from them in indescribable."  

So after reading this I want you to ask yourself these questions... what does the word family mean to you? and who do you consider family? and where would you be in your life without that "family"as a backbone? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think! 


  1. To me, family is always there for you. Family is anyone that can stick with you through your best and worst times. They support you and everything that you do. They are also honest and trustworthy. My family is my backbone and my backbone is made up of my immediate/extended family, my best friend, my boyfriend his family and all of our friends at school/away from school that continue to care about me as I care for them. My family will always have my back because I will always have theirs.

  2. as we talked about in class my definition has changed according to where I lived and with whom. Obviously now with a family, home is where they are and that means here in Cortland. Having students in my classes for more than one semester also increases my connectedness to them (you) b/c it gives me more time to get to know you and learn what shapes you. Take this course and TA'ing for 255 has done. I recently wrote in my portfolio review: "In the near future, my students will my professional colleagues and they need to be given leadership opportunities and mentored along the way as how to best provide effective communication, information, and perhaps even inspiration. I believe that I provide my students a unique opportunity and platform to showcase their talents and their growth as teacher candidates as together we advocate for higher quality physical education and active lifestyles." Shalom Cleaver Clan!