Kelli Potts incorporates lessons from her children into her classroom


Kelli Potts

Honors English 9 and AP Seminar teacher Kelli Potts with her two daughters, Evelyn and Tessa.

Honors English 9 and AP Seminar teacher Kelli Potts found a surprising relationship between teaching and being a mother. 

Her students never influenced her into wanting kids; it was always something that Potts wanted to do. Potts got pregnant during her first year of teaching with her oldest daughter, Evelyn. Since she didn’t have much contact with students beforehand, there was no way for that to influence her. 

Despite this, Potts sees how being a parent influences her in the classroom.

“A lot of things about parenting and teaching are similar, even though I have younger kids and I teach older kids,” Potts said. “I approach parenting the same way [that] I am a teacher, I am no-nonsense. I’m not ‘Mrs. Warm and Fuzzy,’ but I definitely care about my students. I work hard at my job just like I do as a parent. I really want my kids to be the best people they can be when they’re older; I think that translates really well into teaching. I try to do a lot of fun things in the summer with my girls, like projects or we go on fun field trips. I think a lot of those things translate into the same thing as a teacher and a parent.”

Being a teacher is something that Potts has wanted to do since she was a little girl. By taking on this occupation, she gets the entire summer to create bonds with her kids, which is an added perk.

Potts loves to spend time with her three children and has different ways to enjoy their time.

I think that my favorite part [of being a mom] is the unconditional love that little kids have for their parents.

— Kelli Potts

“[My kids and I’s] favorite thing is going outside,” said Potts, mother to five-year-old Evelyn, three-year-old Tessa, and six-month-old Case. “We love doing anything outside. We go for walks. We have a really big yard with a pond; we explore a lot. We like to go camping; we go biking and play pretend. The older my girls get, I like to cook with them and that kind of stuff. Also, we love to read books, of course.”

Spending time with her children is important to any mother like Potts. Because Potts is a teacher, she gets more kids to spend time with when she can’t be with her own.

Potts’ kids have taught her things that she can translate into teaching. Her children and the kids she teaches have a large age difference, but some lessons can apply to all ages.

“[Being a mom has taught me] patience,” Potts said. “I tend not to be a patient person; that’s just not one of my gifts. I have to work really hard at it if a student or my child frustrates me. One of the things that I’ve learned as a parent is grace. I tend to be no-nonsense so I have to remember that everybody makes mistakes and that we’re humans and that [students] have other things going on. I definitely think that I’ve learned that better from being a mom. The longer I teach, the more of that stuff I learn, like giving kids second chances.”

Teaching and parenting have taught Potts many lessons that she applies in her life. Being a teacher is incredibly important to her, but her children always come first.

Potts loves to teach, but the unconditional love that she will always receive from her children is irrefutable. 

“I love that when kids are little like mine, the most important person in their life is you,” Potts said. “They look up to you, and they love you no matter what, even if you have a bad day or you get after them for something or have a bad day at work. I come home, and they just love me no matter what. I think that my favorite part [of being a mom] is the unconditional love that little kids have for their parents. Obviously, that sometimes ends up changing but I really love that. They love to snuggle, and they’ll just hug you all the time. You just feel very loved so I think I love that aspect of being a mom.”