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My One Request

If I could make one request for my child's teacher it would be- know my child. Know my child as well as you know your own. Be familiar with his background; where we've been and where we've worked so hard to get to. When his file is dropped in your mailbox and his name appears on your roster, don't write him off as a student with special needs or see the task ahead of you as insurmountable. But instead be confident in his strengths, as well as your abilities as an outstanding teacher. Keep track of skills he has mastered- true tangible evidence of the progress he is making; I like to celebrate the milestones of mastered goals as well! When you see opportunities to let him know he is doing something good- tell him because when you're a kid with different abilities, it's easy to feel like you're left behind by your friends in certain skill areas...not that it's their fault. Know that little things that worry him may seem insignificant and petty to an adult with "real" problems. Some days may be difficult, but ultimately the good will far out weigh the rough and in the end, he will be your biggest cheerleader and advocate for how great you are as a teacher in all that you've taught him. My one request is know him, and when you think about it- it is no different than the request of any parent and nothing short of what we would expect of any good teacher. That's why my request is so special to me this year, in particular. It was only a few days ago that my child asked, "Who will you see me as this year?" 

Unsure what he meant, I asked for him to clarify, "What do mean?" 

His reply has stuck with me and truly made me think... "Will you see me as a student? or your son?"

As a teacher and as a parent, my two worlds will collide this school year. My child will be in the grade level I teach, and while I will not teach him directly, my colleagues will. But this conversation between he and I has made me think about how we as an education community view the students who come to us with files packed, numerous acceleration plans needed, and multiple labels announcing who they are. In reality, as a mom, I want my children to grow up not being defined by their limits, but taught that they have something to offer to the world around them. JFK once said, "Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation." I say, "Know my child."

Comments

  1. seriously .. YOU ROCK! I love to read your blog because you just have a way with writing that makes me smile and your love of teaching just shines! But this post in particular gave me chills, as a parent that is such an important thing -- know my child-- you summed it up perfectly!

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