There’s something special about the relationship between fathers and sons. But what happens when your dad also happens to be your teacher? This month, we speak to families in the business of education from the International School of Beijing (ISB) and Hope International School (HIS). Part two of this two-part post features Martin Beeson and his three sons.
Before moving back to Beijing last year, Martin Beeson (US) was a criminal prosecutor and a district attorney in Colorado. The father of three moved his family back to Beijing last year and is now a philosophy teacher at Hope International School (HIS). Martin’s philosophy on fatherhood? “To provide for and to protect my children, to love each of them with all that I am, have, and ever hope to be.”
Today is the release date of Transformers: Age of Extinction and the Beeson boys are excited. I catch up with the family in Shunyi at the Beijing Premium Outlet Mall for some ice cream and cold drinks before they head to the movie. The youngest son, Ezra (age 4), points out the Transformers character on my water bottle. “That’s Bumblebee,” he says. “If you don’t know who it is, you should Google it,” he suggests with a happy face. The trio also includes Eli (age 7) and big brother, Zeke (age 9). The three sit down with me for a quick chat about dad and to show off their goofy posing skills.
What’s the best part about being in the same school as your dad?
Ezra: I like hugging him after school is done.
Eli: I don’t have to go on the bus or walk a long way, and I can see him when I want.
Zeke: After school, I can come to his office to do my homework, or I can stay late after school and play with my friends. The best thing is doing my homework at school because if I do it at home, my brothers are going to watch TV or do things that I want to do too. They barely have homework and I have tons of homework everyday.
What do you like least about being in the same school as your dad?
Eli: He can yell at me when I slide down the rail of the stairs and when I run in the halls.
Zeke: When I make a joke during class, my teacher looks to the door and jokes about calling my dad to discipline me!
What do you call your dad when you’re in school?
Ezra: Just “Daddy.”
Eli: “Teacher” or “Daddy.”
Zeke: I say “Dad.”
Ezra: I say “Dad” too.
Beeson: I thought you guys called me the best daddy in the world?
What subject does your dad teach?
Ezra: I don’t know what a subject is. Wait, I know! He teaches students.
Eli: I have no idea!
Zeke: He teaches high school philosophy.
What do you like most about your dad?
Beeson: You can’t say the obvious things: that I’m extremely intelligent, very handsome, and the nicest dad in the world.
Zeke: He plays with me, he jokes around, and when my mom says I can’t watch TV, he argues with her and lets me watch TV.
Eli: He hugs me and sometimes he buys us McDonald’s!
Zeke: Dad’s usually the ticket to McDonald’s. Mom says no but Dad likes McDonald’s, so sometimes he’ll take us there after a school day while mom is at work and he’ll get us an ice cream or a pie.
Ezra: Dad gets us sweet things to eat. Mom says, “No candy ever!”
Zeke: Chocolate has not touched my lips for literally the last three months.
What kind of student do you think your dad was in school?
Zeke: He was a puffy-haired student! It was like this big. [Gestures over his head]
Beeson: I had an afro. It was natural.
Eli: Yeah, we saw the picture!
Zeke: I think he got all As. He’s good at everything. I think he got everything right.
Ezra: I think he studied really, really hard.
Does your your dad expect you to be the teacher’s pet?
Zeke: Yes, because he always wants me to get good grades and try to be the best in the class.
What do your friends say when they find out your dad is a teacher?
Zeke: They say I’m so lucky. Probably because if I’m at school and I forgot to bring money, I can go to my dad and get it.
Eli: They just say OK. They don’t care.
Zeke (to Ezra): Now you’ve got two choices. Copy me, copy Eli, or don’t copy at all.
Beeson: That’s three choices, not two.
Ezra: They haven’t found out he’s a teacher.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Will you be a teacher?
Ezra: I want to be a parent. I’ll be a dad just like my mine.
Eli: I want a hot dog stand!
Zeke: I want to be a guy that gets paid for sitting around watching TV.
Beeson: Good luck finding that job. If you find it, you can hire me too.
Zeke: OK, maybe a soccer star.
Photo by James Lindesay
This article originally appeared in the August 2014 issue of beijingkids. To view it online for free, click here. To find out how you can obtain your own copy, email firstname.lastname@example.org.