Why I Love My Kids’ Elementary School

I love my kids’ elementary school because the people there seem so genuinely to be on my kids’ teams. I love my kids’ elementary school because I feel like the people there are willing to partner with me for my children.

I read posts that other parents write about the anxiety that parent-teacher conferences bring up. I read posts about teachers that seem to do little but bad-talk children to their parents. I read posts about parent-teacher relationships where there is obviously a fence between parent and teacher.

[I’m frantically knocking on wood now.]

I don’t feel any of that from my kids’ teachers.

Sam is a kid born for school. He is smart, well-behaved, and eager to please. If I were a teacher, I’d want Sam in my class. (If I do say so myself.)

But with Jack, there are ample opportunities for his teachers and aides to get frustrated with him. His teacher says she doesn’t know a whole lot about kids on the spectrum, but she still is so understanding and really seems to get that the way he acts out is due to his disability. Trust me when I say that I don’t take that for granted.

His aides are similarly fabulous. They constantly tell me how much they love him, even after he’s put them through the wringer. (He poked one of them in the face with a pencil once. She responded to my apology note with a written comment: “I still adore him!”) I can’t express how much that means to me.

I walked into parent-teacher conferences today a little skittish, but not too worried. I was wrong to feel nervous at all. The aide and teacher who spoke to me about Jack were so encouraging and validating. They confirmed things about Jack that I believe, and they listened to me when I told them about Jack. Even when talking about some of Jack’s less desirable behaviors (spitting, hitting, trying to sharpen his finger in the pencil sharpener), Jack’s teacher was not even slightly condemning.

Even with all this support though, it is clear that Jack needs one to one support. We have hired a lawyer and an educational consultant and have begun what looks to be a long, slow process. I am just so glad that in the meantime Jack has three amazing women (two aides and his teacher) who give him such thoughtful, compassionate, and loving support.

13 thoughts on “Why I Love My Kids’ Elementary School

  1. I love that you are so happy with Jack’s school and his teaching staff. I wish your situation were more of the norm than the exception. None the less, I celebrate on your behalf —on Jack’s behalf. :-)

  2. I have no worries for Jack. He has 2 parents who will scratch and claw and fight for him till he gets every damn thing he needs. Great teachers and aides are just icing on the cake for him!

  3. Everyone with a special needs child should read this blog. It’s so informative and so hopeful. Which is actually a rather unusual combination.

    And the visual of Jack trying “sharpen” his finger makes me laugh. I have a “sensory” boy – so I can really relate to this…

  4. I’m so glad you’re happy with the school since we were too – not perfect, but no school is. My experience has been that most teachers are on the kids’ side, and are so happy when parents are making an effort that they go the extra mile. Your involvement will guarantee a great education for all the boys.

    With all the ups and downs, remember we still see that sweet five-year old boy.

  5. I’m so glad that you’re able to remain positive, and that the people that are there actually working with you sound so wonderful! I hope you are able to quickly get what Jack needs.

  6. That is so awesome that you have so many people you can trust with your children. We’ve been lucky so far. We go to a private school and there is only one teacher for each grade so we don’t have choices in teachers. Lucky for us, they are all great. It definitely can make or break a child’s eagerness for school.

  7. As a teacher for preschoolers with special needs, and some with autism…I can relate to the teachers who say they adore your son. I honestly love and adore all of my children, I just hope that the parents are as appreciative as you are. The best thing you could do for them at Christmas is write a letter telling them that. Love the blog.

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