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The Other Side of the Table

The other day (last week? Two weeks ago?) I was scrolling through Facebook and I stumbled across a status update from a mom friend. It was all about how well her son is doing in school. How he’s being praised for good citizenship, behavior, and academics.

She’s so proud of him. She should be proud of him.

But my heart sank a little while I read it because my kid is not that kind of kid.

I talked to many parents when I was teaching and listened to their frustrations about how their child wasn’t doing what so and so was doing. I’ve had mom friends lament the ways their children weren’t meeting milestones at the same pace as their peers. I told all of them not to compare their experiences because people are variables and those can be unpredictable.

We shouldn’t compare our experiences. Truly. We shouldn’t. I believe that. We can’t compare them. They aren’t the same.

But I find myself doing that a lot lately.

We’re just not having a good kindergarten experience. I’m feeling a little sad about that.

Right now, it’s not looking like my son will be the kid who comes home from school having earned a special award or recognition.

We’re sure getting a lot of notes about everything he’s doing wrong, though, and they’re things I need to know about, like hitting his classmates, biting somebody in the lunch line, not completing his work because he’s busy catapulting pencils across the room.

(I definitely smiled a little at his ingenuity with the pencil flipping. It’s physics! Science! Smart stuff! But not the right time or place.)

I don’t know what to do when my kid is thatkid. And right now he’s that kid.

The kid who gets in trouble all the time. Who can’t be tamed or calmed. The one who can’t focus. And I don’t know what to do about it.

He’s so bright and smart and sweet (sometimes) and then he goes to school and the kid he is there isn’t a kid I recognize. Or have I just not been paying attention?

I’ve talked to the teacher. We’re all sitting down next week for a big ol’ powwow with psychologists and special education teachers and principals and counselors on one side and…me. We’ll discuss a behavior plan, intervention strategies, and I will probably cry.

I’m on the other side of the table and it’s a really uncomfortable place to be.

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The Many Thoughts of a Reader

Sunday 26th of October 2014



Wednesday 22nd of October 2014

Big hugs. :( This hurts my heart for Joshua. I really hope that even if he's not the kid that's earning the awards and getting the best grades that he's been cared for and loved. I hope that he'll be able to learn in a stress-free (low-stress?) environment where he feels comfortable. I hope he's growing and becoming a really awesome kid that does lots of things that he can be proud about. Even if it's not what teachers and principals and psychologists say are the things we should be proud of. I hope he finds his place! Thinking of you when you're sitting on the other side of the table. I think back to all the conferences I had pre-kids and I shake my head at that little teacher who thought she had kids and parents figured out. You really don't know until you have kids of your own, huh? Praying there will be answers for you!

Allie Smith

Tuesday 21st of October 2014

Miranda, this really hit home. You are not alone. My 1st grader has run into all sorts of issues this year, and I'm afraid we may have an ADD issue, which sucks. One thing to keep in mind - I have four kids and have experienced 1st grade four times - and it is so different this year. The Core Curriculum is in full swing and it is VERY hard. None of my children were require to do the kind of reading and writing that my 1st grader has to do this year - it's not fair. I volunteer in the classroom and he is not alone in his struggles! I'd say a 1/3 of the class, most of them boys, are struggling.

That being said, my 13 year old was always an average student. He's in 8th grade now and just received the best report card of his academic "career." He miraculously decided to pull it together and I can think of no event that triggered this. It was just his time. We all learn at our own rate.


Sunday 19th of October 2014

I am sending you so much love, Miranda. Huge hugs.


Thursday 16th of October 2014

You are a good mom. And he is a good boy. And NOTHING that happens at that table will negate that. You know this. You know that the psychologist and the special educators are there to help and to give him what he needs and deserves. You know that whatever he needs is not a fault.

You do know all this. Which doesn't make it easy. But you're doing what he needs even when it isn't easy. It's okay to cry. Because you're also doing everything right.

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