I've been thinking about this quote a lot.
Times have been tough for us lately. The Kid's school hasn't been especially supportive of his needs in general lately, culminating in us missing the big sixth grade music performance because I had no idea it was happening. I think they'd been giving the kids instructions verbally to go home and tell their parents, not thinking that some kids don't have the ability to relay messages like that. I had no idea it was happening. His teacher this year has been the meanest lady ever. I don't even want to go in to it, but let's just say my son's behaviors have increased this year by a factor of three and they are the direct result of being humiliated and stressed by an overly strict and rigid teacher.
We are moving to a new city this summer and we've been visiting schools in an attempt to make an educated decision on the neighborhood we choose. My first meeting with one school began with the teacher sitting down and saying that she would not be able to enact my son's IEP and that they'd just prefer to rewrite it off the bat. She might be right, but her tone and her dismissal of all of the hard work and hard won wisdom that is in that document today was disheartening. When I talk to these prospective schools the vibe I get from all of them is, "how much will we have to do for THIS kid, ugh."
I'm feeling very at odds with educators this week, which just so happens to be Teacher Appreciation week. Teachers have been breaking my heart right and left lately, so I'm hardly feeling like appreciating them for the jobs that do. I mean, they get a paycheck to do what they do. And they are mean to my kid. Let's get them flowers?
Ugh I hate that I wrote that. I like teachers, I couldn't do their jobs. I think they deserve to be recognized for jobs well done. But I'm finding it really hard to go out of my way to give them kudos when all of the teachers we're in contact with this year seem to be going out of their way to make our lives miserable and hard.
In short, I'm feeling negative. I'm feeling spite and anger. Sadness, really, is what I'm feeling. I'm sad that my son is not enjoying his school years like I did. I'm sad that I don't feel included in our current school community. I'm sad that my son has had to encounter a trusted teacher who appears to not like him. I'm sad that not one of the schools in our new area is giving me a good feeling that things are going to get better.
Those are the seeds I'm planting right now, even though I really wish I wasn't. How do you turn this around? How do I engender compassion and love for people that I feel are giving my son a tougher row to hoe than is necessary? I want to be zen, I want to be positive. I normally am.
I normally have full awareness that I can't control the reactions of others, only my own. But how long do you live with negative reactions to you and your son and your life before you start to internalize these things? Or maybe, how can I live through these emotions, own them and let them be what they are, but just somehow manage to not plant them in my heart that is like a garden? Maybe that is what it is. Don't let them take root.
Molly is a mom, erstwhile blogger, current insurance professional and graduate student living in Colorado.
It's okay to be sad, bitter, angry. You should be. It is part of the process. We grow by figuring out how to metabolize it and find center again. We grow through accepting our anger as potentially useful....after we do something about feeling burnt-out and disillusioned. I have been there, Molly. I can't promise a miraculous shift on perspective, but I can promise that all of this "what I don't want anymore of" will help you to better define and recognize what you do want as you start this new chapter of your life in your new home. You get to make conscious choices about the community you want to gather for you and your son and choose exactly how you want to live. You can locate what is right, and can smell wrong from miles away now. Ultimately this will prove to be a gift. Even though right now it sucks beans. xo, KatReplyDelete
I am deeply moved by this post and am at a loss for words to respond. But, I wanted to let you know that I am truly hoping you find a better fit in the new city.ReplyDelete
I also have been there. My son's worst year of this sort was 3rd grade...3rd grade! That teacher completely did not "get" my kiddo. And the missing the musical performance...been there, done that! It feels humiliating to not know something that is important to our kids and school. But it's maddening to not feel supported by the school, too...because they are supposed to know your kid too, right? OK...now I'm getting negative...but just wanted you to know that it will get better. Even if the next school doesn't seem to be jumping up and down, you need to trust your gut, start new relationships, and get things going for next year. And btw...there are regulations regarding IEPs as you move from one place to another (in state or out of state)...so check that out first before you let the new school rewrite the ENTIRE IEP. Good luck. KimReplyDelete
As a Montessori Teacher I want to say I am sorry that the traditional educators do not honor the light of your child and the gift he is. I also have had special needs children in my classes throughout the years and have been honored and humbled by all they have taught me. I hope that you find a better fit and encourage you to think outside of the box. When I became a MOntessori teacher it was because I felt that there was so much more to educating our children. Now that I have adopted a special needs child myself and am looking at doing so again I am more convinced than ever that I have taken the right path.ReplyDelete
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