Thursday, February 24, 2011

Give Your Kids Teacher a Hug Today!

This morning I told Charlie that I would pick him up a little early from school to take him to see his doctor.  His response was, "No - don't pick me up early!"  I am so thankful that Charlie likes school so much that he doesn't want to miss any time there. 

Before school started last fall Randy and I met with Charlie's teacher and principal to explain his background and to solicit their help and understanding in guiding Charlie through this first year at a new school.  The first few months were a little rocky, but he is now doing very well and we seldom hear of a problem with his behavior.

While we hoped that Charlie could learn to behave in a manner that was respectful to both teachers and the other kids, we are simply astounded at his progress.  At one planning meeting with his teacher and the Behavior Specialist, his teacher got tears in her eyes as she expressed her care and concern for Charlie. 

At this school when there is a problem with behavior, the child is sent to the Behavior Specialist's room where she and her aides work with the child to help them understand why their behavior was wrong and how to make better choices in the future.  Their love for Charlie and the other kids can be felt the minute you open the door to that room.  The first few months of school, Charlie visited this room often and he is very proud of the fact that he hasn't had to go to STARS (as they call it) for quite some time. 

Unfortunately, this program will probably be cut with the budget shortfalls.  We are SO thankful that Charlie had the benefit of this program.  It goes a lot further when other adults are telling him the same things that we are trying to teach him at home.

A couple weeks ago while picking up Chip and Annie at their school on a Friday afternoon, Chip's Kindergarten teacher asked me to please help Chip learn rhyming words.  After visiting with her I realized I had no idea how important it was for a child to learn rhyming words.  When I tried to explain to Mr. Thornton how to help Chip, it was quite apparent that the concept was way over his head, and the teacher knew that as well.

When Charlie came to live with us a year ago he had gone through so much trauma that I did not think it was wise to put him in a new school at this time of year and add trauma on top of trauma.  I hoped I could figure out enough of his school work to help him through the end of the year, hopefully catching him up to where he should be.  I quickly learned that it was very hard work to home school.  I spent hours searching for appropriate lesson plans, only to discover how little I knew about learning theories, teaching strategies and methodology.  I prayed that Charlie would be ready emotionally to go to school in the fall.  I knew that I would not be able to give him what trained teachers could.
My day "begins" when Charlie gets home from school.  With his ADHD he requires lots of supervision with homework, and I hope that he will get better at it before he gets into grades where it is harder for me to help him. 

As in any profession, there are those who are better at what they do.  We are so fortunate to have the best teachers for Charlie, a teacher for Chip who cares enough to ask for our help and teachers who volunteer to stay after school to tutor Annie - and even give her a ride home!  And all the teachers who took Marquel from failing to receiving the award of "Most Improved Student" in her school (she now stays on the A-B Honor Roll).

Give your kid's teacher a hug today - tell them how much you appreciate what they do for your child.

Until next time . . .