This summer I’m going to be positive. I’m going into it with high hopes for lots of family bonding time with a backdrop of rainbows and dew covered roses. You know whyyyyyy? Because summer means no homework. No paperwork forgotten in backpacks and then forgotten to turn in. No permission slips or book reports. But most of all, no IEP meetings reminding me my kid needs special attention. No head-tilt nodding when i’m explaining that I actually believe my kid is doing much better. No concerned frantic pencil scribbles in the midst of a meeting because some new issue has popped up.
No reminders my kid is negatively different than his class.
Instead, we are going to revel in the fact that any and all activities here at home- and anywhere we decide to venture out to- will be perfectly fit and tailored to each of my children. My kid is set up for success here at home and with me. … well … until he pisses me off, that is. Then it’s just barking orders. But for the most part, there is nothing here he can’t do.
I’m happy to have my kids around, and at least for the first two weeks, I will build them up and vocalize all the great things I notice about them. So thanks, Teach, for giving me the opportunity to take center stage and let my kid shine. And no, we will not miss you. Unlike the last three teachers my kid has had and been sad to say goodbye to, and written cute little cards for, and picked out thoughtful gifts for, you did not quite make the cut this year. Your effort was lacking for my son. I’m tilting my head to the side and gravely nodding my head at the thought perhaps, if you work hard, you can find the ability to measure up next year for the next class you get. From where i’m sitting, you might need to be put on an ITP – and individualized teaching plan. You need some goals yourself. You need to learn to look, peek, squint even, outside the box. The box that is your classroom where a majority of kids are privileged. Kids who have not had any life challenges. Kids who have not had to learn and form skills and personal growth from life experiences. My kid is a rock star who, despite moving four states in five years, has managed in each one to make friends. To care about each one. To still go out and put himself out there to be accepted. My kid has met countless faces of grown ups who work with him and each time put him out of his comfort zone with care and love. They all managed to get results from a boy who does nothing but challenge those around him. That’s his role here, it seems. He will push and pull and twist every button you’ve got, but with the charm and smile and heart that you will find yourself laughing along side. You might, Teach, learn something about yourself once you set some expectations that go beyond working with kids who have zero challenges or issues.
And maybe, just maybe, next year if you get a kid who has for whatever reason not met all standard goals walking into your room, you might be able to remember that you once had a kid in the same situation. You let other people deal with him. You let other people build him up. I hope you take the next opportunity presented in the form of a kid not perfectly formed and already succeeding to dig in and do the work with so you can find out some wonderful abilities I know you must have.
Excuse me now while I go stock my liquor cabinet in preparation for summer break.