Many of you know about the struggles that we are having with my son’s school.
Let me be clear, the staff at his school are not bad people. “Bad people” don’t dedicate their lives to helping kids. They are probably really good with the majority of kids, the typical kids. I imagine, that they are successful with the struggling readers or those students that need extra practice with math facts. They just aren’t sure how to educate those kids outside of the box. They seem unable, or unwilling, to look at creative solutions and focus on compliance and completion. They have a hard time understanding that boredom and a gifted mind is a bad combination. Ironically, they just aren’t educated.
They don’t understand my really bright, socially awkward, sensitive, introverted boy who painfully and reluctantly attends their school.
After a short transition period, last year was great. Full of learning and successes. We hoped for another year of that. We hoped that things would improve and that we could tackle the issues that kept sprouting up. We can’t keep up.
It feels like trying to control dandelions by pulling them out by hand. Once you pull one, two more grow in its place.
The morning complaining has expanded to other parts of the day. The increasing anxiety, poor self talk, and the questioning of self-worth prompted us to make an appointment with a specialist that we have worked with in the past. His message was clear; It is our responsibility to make sure that he knows he is a priority. It is critical that my TBP knows that we are on his side. Our words must match our actions. We must take action.
The timing of his words fit perfectly with a conversation that we had the other day. My son shared that he didn’t feel heard and questioned if we were truly on his side. It was hard to hear, but I could see why he wondered. His pleading for change and our hope that he could wait until summer, must have felt like a lack of action and understanding. Is it realistic, or fair, to ask an eight years old boy to wait five months for some relief? Try and hold it together for five months?
Through tears, I told him that we were totally and completely on his team. At this point, he looked at me and said, “I have a great idea! Let’s get identical shirts made that can be our team shirts.” I smiled and listened as he shared his requirements. “They must be long-sleeved, soft and cozy for stay home days.”
Last night, as we rehashed the details of the appointment, one thing couldn’t be ignored. We have to make a change.
We talked with my TBP and he knows that we are in the process of changing his day. We are making plans and talking to the important players about when and how to make this happen. As we talked, there was a sense of relief in his face that I haven’t seen for a really long time.
Making a change is hard, especially for a person like me; however, once you have a plan, a huge weight is taken off your shoulders.
The plan is coming, so stay tune!