The Two-Way Mirror
Ruth recently wrote in an email to a friend,
“What I do know is that we are striking a chord with a lot of people. The number of women who have thanked us for undertaking this is really encouraging. In the TED video by Brené Brown on vulnerability/shame, she said: “The most powerful two words when we are in struggle are: ‘me, too’.” That’s what we’re trying to do, and also to show that once you get past the struggle of K-12 school, so much of this gets better …. which begs the question …. how can we make it better in K-12 school? What is wrong with our systems??? Our kids are hurting because they are trying to be funneled through systems that just don’t work for them …. what can we do for them? It brings up lots of questions. We don’t have the answers, but we are opening the conversation.”
Got your anti-anxiety meds ready?
If you are a parent of a kid like our composite, “Jimmy,” you know what it’s like to have Jimmy at home, and to deal with the schools.
[ …. deep cleansing breath …. ]
Now … imagine being a teacher … and having five “Jimmy’s” in your class!
Got your anti-anxiety meds ready now?
Good. Now take another deep breath … and thank your kids’ teachers.
We know that in this blog, and in our book, there will be a lot said about kids’ difficult experiences in the schools.
But we want to stress that we value and appreciate what teachers have done for our children.
We know how hard teaching is. Ruth knows first-hand, as a former public school teacher herself – one who has had many “Jimmy’s” in her own classes. And Martha says, “I have ADD and sensory overload issues, and if I had five “me’s” in a class, forget it!”
Think about this: we keep saying that it’s terrible when people only tell us negative things about our parenting or our children.
Now imagine you are the teacher … and you have a bunch of parents like us!
So, just like we are asking you to think about all the things you have done right, we also ask you to think about all the things your child’s teachers have done right, too. Remember that 99.99999% of teachers (Ruth’s official, in-the-trenches study) go into this profession because they truly want to help children learn – all children, with all learning styles. And it is hard to have all those different learning styles, IEPs, 504s, modifications, enrichments, etc., etc., etc. in your class … while you want to do the best for every single child. That is a teacher’s greatest goal, and greatest challenge.
Remember as well: we are all human.
Your kids’ teachers are working their butts off … just like you are, and just like your child is. And nobody – not you, not us, not your kids, and not your kids’ teachers – wants to have all the things they are doing wrong highlighted all the time. Think about walking a mile in their shoes … while accompanied by our issues. (Get an imaginary pair of comfortable shoes first; most teachers don’t get a chance to sit all day!).
In our experience, for every not-so-great moment for our kids, there have been so many moments of incredible kindness, where a wonderful teacher – despite the fact that we were “that mother” and that our kids were “that kid” (or maybe because of it!) – went the extra mile for our children, and for us.
We remember these teachers with love, admiration and gratitude, and we could not be more grateful.
[ ……….. deep cleansing breath ……… ommmmmmmmmmmmmm …….. ]
Now that we’ve said that ……. did we mention that there are a few things we think need to be changed?