When I was in grade eight, I came to that hard decision all young middle-schoolers have to make. I had to leave behind that comfortable cocoon of middle school and choose a ‘DUH DUH DUHHHHH’ high school. My mom, who many of you may know as Mrs. Ratzlaff, had been working as the vocal teacher at N.T. for two years and felt that it was an incredible school. She told me N.T. had great school spirit and everyone was really energetic. What could be better?! So I decided to go to N.T. AND took vocal as a course without even taking into consideration that the repercussions would be having my mom as a teacher. After a few weeks, the peers in my vocal class realized why Mrs. Ratzlaff and I had such similar head shapes. Everyone was very calm about it. I have never gotten any grief from anyone about my mom being a teacher at N.T. Of course, I get the questions: “Does she mark you?!” “Do you actually do your practice logs?” “Does she help you with your vocals homework?!” “Is it ever awkward during class if she tells you to stop talking?” “Do you call her MOM?!”
Well, the good thing is my mom is a pretty kool kat and never draws a lot of attention to the fact that we are mother and daughter. My mom does mark me, but makes sure that it is nonbiased. I ‘actually’ do my practice logs just like everyone else ‘actually’ does their practice logs. I have never asked my mom for any help at home with vocals homework because that would clearly be an unfair advantage. I am a chatterbox in my vocal class, and my mom will rightfully call me out to stop talking, but it’s never awkward. I’m very lucky because I have been with the same vocal class for three years. This has caused us all to become very close with each other and very comfortable with the idea of there being two Ratzlaffs in the class-room. I don’t ever address my mom directly in vocal class. I may say, ‘Uhm what was the homework again?’ But I would never say “BUT MOMSIE, I DON’T WANT TO DO THE HOMEWORK!” All in all, it’s pretty cool having my mom at NT because I’m able to grab lunch money if I have none of my own, which is often, and get a free trip to school every day. Overall it’s pretty groovy.
However, I am not the only one who has a parent at the school. Miss Rough, Miss Monteith & Mr. Kino, Mr. Gorenkoff and Mr. Mendelovits, to name a few, all have kids who go to N.T. I asked Mr. Gorenkoff’s son, Jake, why he decided to come to N.T., and if his dad being the principal was a contributing factor in his decision-making. “I chose N.T. mainly because my dad said it was a great school with lots of spirit and everyone was really nice. I didn’t really think at all about how my dad was the principal. It didn’t come into play at all when I was considering NT as an option.” I then asked him if he had ever felt uncomfortable in being the principal’s son. “It is awkward sometimes when he disciplines a friend or someone I know. But everyone’s pretty understanding.” For my final question I asked Jake if he had any regrets coming to N.T. with respect to his dad being the principal. “Nope. Even though my dad meddles in my school life sometimes, I love N.T. and don’t regret my decision in the slightest.”