I have been ramming my head against the wall- trapped between this huge rock and a really hard spot. My kiddo #1 is struggling in middle school. It is painful and frustrating, overwhelming and distressing. I feel "lost in the system". When i seek help the response i receive is that my child is responsible for his own education, that he is being lazy, and they frown upon his excitement to answer every question. The mama bear in me jumps to the defensive....very, very quickly...and demands to know why an 11 year old is tasked with the responsibility of his own education. I sarcastically ponder why wouldn't an educator be thrilled to have a student that is so excited to learn? And my protective instinct requisitions answers, answers, answers. My perception is (and perception is reality!) "we can't care about everyone....so we won't care about anyone".
I struggle with these thoughts that bounce around in my head. My son has been left beat down, dumped in a hole, and ordered to figure out his exit....all by himself. I want my son-all of my sons- to love school, to love learning, to enjoy these years of growing up. But I am now left with uncertainty in the process or the outcome of success. Shouldn't we strive to reach each child? Idealistic? of course it is, but shouldn't that be the goal? On the contrary, I and my son are left to drudge through these middle school trenches without navigational assistance. We are told he needs to talk less, listen more, and that life isnt' fair. Boy that's an undersimplification of a life's lesson! Whatever happened to the prospect of transition, assistance, and genuine concern about the student's positive experience. Lost is the sincere regard to the child's ability and potential to achieve and experience success. At least this is my perspective....today.
I am obviously disheartened and do not mean any disrespect to those in the educational field...although I'm sure that is how it is perceived. Shockingly, my husband taught for many years....in the middle school my son now attends. There in lies a big problem. Sides inevitably will be taken...I on my son's, hubby on the teacher's. I have many friends and family members that teach, and I'm sure they are doing the absolute best that they can. And I'm sure that after reading this I have most certainly been marked as "that mother".
There are too many kids and not enough teachers or money to fund education properly. I get that- let's address that. We can take sides, we can dig our heels in and butt our heads together vowing not to budge on our beliefs. But there in the middle, lost, scared, confused is a young boy. He's not just another student. He is my son. He has a huge heart and would run in front of a moving car for his little brothers....or your child! He needs to here "I love you" and be reassured that he is valuable and validated that he is important in this world. He stands up to bullies and gets bullied because he does so. He has certain character flaws that need molding, shaping, and possibly some preening and tweaking (don't we all?). His name is Tyler. At home, he goes by Ty-guy.
We can get all wrapped up in agenda and policies, theory and points of view. My my view points to my son. I have always advocated for public schools, it's potential for success, and the teacher's who give their life's work to the success of children. I am not "that mother". I am a mother, and I, like all parents, want my kid to fell like he matters and to experience success- whatever that is specific to him.
I realize I am stirring-the-pot, so to speak. And that many are going to spit my way, label my student, and stand their ground. But the problem will not get addressed and the solution will never be found. We need to work together instead of argue about who's right and who's wrong. I am speaking from my perception and experience. I am asking...no begging....someone please help us!
Let's focus on the person, the child, the individual...they all have a story; they all have fears; they all have joys; and they all deserve our best.