anxiety, children, education, english, freshman, grades, high school, high school woes, homework, honors english, mental-health, parenting, pressure, professors, pupils, school, school-aged children, stress, teacher, teachers, teenagers
A couple days a week, I get to sleep past my typical 6:15 am wake up call. Only by about an hour, but an hour is a gift to most of us who struggle with getting good quality sleep. So imagine my horror when my phone rings at 7am this morning right when I’m at the denouement of the dream where the guy gets the girl, just as the bomb goes off not injuring anyone, but safely preventing the bad guys from getting to the hero couple! As soon as I looked at the caller ID and read “Board of Ed, City of New York”, I heard the shell casings fall to the floor. “Is this the mother of —-?” Otherwise known as my oldest, the teenager, the kid who breaks my heart when he sings, the baby who was my first foray in to the wonderful minefield that is parenting, my sweet boy who is now towering over me? “Yes, this is she.” Here it was, the phone call that gets threatened to the kids in the honors English class, from the first day of school. It was really happening. My immediate reaction was to defend this child of nicknames and cuteness, but I took a deep breath and decided to listen to his teacher instead. (Let’s not forget that the dream images of Jason Statham carrying me to safety are still lingering in my head, so I was a tad distracted.) This is a teacher whose reputation precedes her. For example, school officially begins at 8am, but she implores her students in first period to be there at 7:30. Trust me, this annoyed the crap out of all of us at the start, but I began to understand her logic. When school starts at 8, she wants kids in their seats ready to go, not just getting in to the room and sorting their desks and checking instagram feeds with their friends. She wants, and deserves, a room full of kids who have gotten their willies out, and are settled in for the lesson of the day. So fine, we push for our kid to get there as close to 7:30 as possible, which coming from Brooklyn a couple days a week isn’t always easy. I knew the phone call wasn’t about that, so why was I chatting with Dr. Teacher so early in the morning? My boy wasn’t doing his best, plain and simple. There wasn’t anything that this teacher said that surprised me, in fact her dedication to these kids, her waking up at 4:30 every morning to make sure she’s in the classroom by 6:45 for those kids who want to get their even earlier, made me frustrated with my kid more than anything! I was then able to imagine the scores of parents who I’m sure challenge Dr. Teacher, and defend their kids and complain about her practices etc.. I was tempted, don’t get me wrong, because my kid is a superstar in my book, but I realized in that moment, he wasn’t a superstar in her book, and that was unacceptable! I thanked Dr. Teacher for the call after we came up with a plan of action, and expressed my frustration that she isn’t getting to see the “superstar” that I see everyday. She assured me that with us collaborating, that “superstar” will make himself evident soon enough. Of course, she didn’t use the word superstar, and neither did I, but I know, you know, just what I mean! We are all parents of superstars, and all we can wish for is that everyone sees our kids for the superstars they are and can be. Working with the teachers, who once our kids hit school age, will spend almost as much time with them as we do, is the best way for our superstars to shine!
PS: He’s totally grounded if he doesn’t get his grades up!
I’ll encourage my superstar to carry a Totem with him for times Dr. Teacher pushes his buttons. Maybe your superstar could use a Totem as well? Order one today by clicking on any of the Totem images to your left!