I have to reblog this. It breaks my heart. It hits so close to home.
This is by one of my favorite bloggers. I have tremendous respect for her honesty, her approach to life, her love for children and her love for books. I have tremendous respect for her teaching. She had the courage to completely change how she structured her class. She empowers students in a way not seen frequently.
This is a post about one of her children. I wish I could tell her that no, her child is not broken. Her child is lovely, wonderful, creative, caring. It’s not her child who is broken — it’s the school system. It is hard to tell a teacher that the school system is broken, but she knows it. She changed who she is in the classroom to address the very issues she’s seeing now in her child.
As one of the commenters said, a world where kindergartners, first graders, etc., are expected to sit still is unnatural. Some kids thrive in it, but certainly not all. We crush the spirit of those who don’t fit that expectation. Why is that the value? Why do kindergartners need to read? Why is it that the only valuable learning occurs at a desk?
I saw this happen in my house. I was stubborn — too stubborn — and thought if my child only tried harder, if she only cared. I watched her spirit get crushed. I watched her frustration. I watched her self-esteem plummet. I watched her level of anxiety increase to the point of being incapacitating. All this for similar reasons — she couldn’t focus no matter how hard she tried. If I could do it all over, there are so many, many things I would do differently.
I wish I could just say to this blogger to follow her heart. Do what you need to do to honor your child. That’s what’s important – not what the expectations are of society, or of school.
She’s got my eyes, you know.
Blue mixed with gray depending on the weather. She’s got my long legs, arms for miles, and a laugh that comes from her heart. Her hands look like my grandfather’s who gave her her name. And those feet of hers are just like mine, growing too fast for her shoes to keep up.
She’s got her daddy’s sense of humor, always ready to make you smile. And also his artistic eye, declaring one day she will be an artist. She will paint the sky with every color she knows.
But she doesn’t have my skills of sitting still. Of staying quiet. Of focusing in.
She doesn’t smile easy or understand when others are kidding. Friendships are sometimes hard to find.
Some would say she is a broken child. Some would say she is a broken child.
We come up with fixes to help…
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