I Get By With A LOTTA Help From My Friends

So NOT the post I thought I would be writing next, but this has been weighing heavy on my heart…

I am blessed to have worked with several educators for consecutive years. This is a true gift, for as a consultant I could be hired and fired at anytime. I treasure the relationships I have with so many educators, as they are in THERE doing awesome work with children, yet still wanting to learn. They fuel my soul, and make me want to give my very all PLUS more when I collaborate with them.

Last week I was working with Special Education teachers and Paraprofessionals. This is unique, as the District feels strongly that their Paraprofessionals should get the same trainings (as they often do the one-on-one work with the kiddos). The elementary team is near and dear to my heart, since my own child has Dyslexia and I tutor many kiddos that have learning disabilities.

During the morning break, one of the teachers came to me and suggested what I would like to call a “duh” moment. Should have already been something I knew, but didn’t. She suggested that, instead of naming our kids as “Autistic Kids” or “Dyslexic Kids”, might I restate it as “Kids with Autism” or “Kids with Dyslexia”?

“The Disability isn’t what defines them.”

Damn.

Absolutely I should rethink my language. Absolutely I need to rethink how I refer to a certain group of students. ABSOLUTELY it does NOT define them!

I love that this amazing person came to me and called me out (privately). I love that I have friends that will tell me when I need to rethink and consider different options.

Consider your cadre of teacher friends. Do you feel like they will call you out when needed? Support you, yet let you know when you can do better? BE BETTER? If not, get a new group of teacher friends!

Thanks, Rachel. You make me want to be a better human.

I Get By With A LOTTA Help From My Friends

It’s The Little Things…Writing Notes

When I took Chris to register for Kinder, he was terrified. He looked right at the Vice Principal and told her he would NEVER come to this school. I was mortified and heart broken. How could my child (coming from MEEEEEEE!!!!) be so fearful of school??? Was I in for days of tears and refusals to get up to go?

Fortunately, we were blessed with the most AMAZING Kindergarten teacher.  The first week of school she sent home a note to Chris. note 1 It was the first thing he handed me (all crumpled and loved on) that afternoon. He was so proud that his teacher wrote HIM a note. He asked me to read it again and again, and taped it to his wall near his bed.  This note takes him through the good and the bad; the ‘easy’ and the challenging. I have heard him read this note over and over (when he was busted and in time-out!). This note has carried him through the year.

We have since received numerous notes from his teacher, all as important to him as the first. This one hangs on our fridge as a celebration for his daily counting to learn up to 100! When he struggles with sight words, counting by 5’s, or any rote memorization, we look at that note as a reminder that all things take time to learn. Note 2

Note 3Is it just Chris that loves a little note? Nope. Fast forward to his recent eval for speech. I will be honest. It was a lot of pages expressing a lot of jargon that I forgot the minute I was done reading, except for the part on the back of the eval… I am still teary-eyed when I reread it.  At the end of the day, at the end of the struggles he has, my boy is a good person, and someone noticed.

In this electronic age, let us not forget the little things, like hand-written notes. Why are notes so important? It is unique; someone took time out of their day to physically express something to another person. It expresses that you matter so much that, instead of texting or emailing (which could be a cut/paste), someone took the time to individualize and express thoughts just for you. Wow.

So let’s each commit to writing one note this week:

  • Put a post-it note in your child’s (or students’) lunch or binder letting him/her know how much you care for them
  • Put a note in your significant other’s car specifically telling him/her one kind thought
  • With this being Teacher Appreciation Week for so many districts, send a note letting your child’s teacher know how much they mean to you and your child
  • Mother’s Day (wink…wink…nudge…nudge…) doesn’t have to be just the kids making handmade cards. Let a mama know how much they mean to YOU
  • Put a kind thought on a random door, car, locker, etc.

 

It’s The Little Things…Writing Notes