It’s the last day of school. We have thanked the administrators and secretaries for the year-long efforts to keep the lights on, the programs running and balance the well-being of their staff, their parents and their students.
We have thanked our teachers and support personnel for giving our children the foundation of a fabulous education, the emotional support to get through 2nd period and how to maintain their balance on the beam. They have received holiday presents, Valentines, and according to Bridget ate her cupcakes.
We have thanked the office staff and the nursing staff who healed the boo-boo and let our children call home when they needed. We have remembered them on teacher appreciation day, administrative professional day and on nurses week.
There are a few groups we often forget to show our appreciation. Continue reading
When Bridget entered the public school system at age 3 we knew her experience would be different from her sisters. Her sister went to a private daycare and then private kindergarten. Bridget needed more. Her sister transitioned to the public school in first grade and eagerly ran onto the school bus. So quickly did she run onto the bus, that we do have a first day on the bus picture.
We knew that Bridget would never take the bus. Continue reading
My kid would never…
My kid is “everybody’s” friend…
My kid is never mean…
My kid was provoked.
Let’s be honest, there is always going to be kids that are mean, there will always be “cliques”. There will always be the kid that doesn’t fit in and will be picked on.
We always hope it won’t be ours. If it is mine, I want to know. Continue reading
It’s not my fault. I swear that I am to blame for many things. I admit to the fact that my personality, viewpoints and beliefs have changed since becoming a parent. I am definitely more vigilant. Until today I have never tiptoed over the line that separates the typical parents from those that hover. Until today when I became a helicopter mom. Continue reading
Tonight is Open House at Bridget’s school. There have been other open houses, but like field trips I have always avoided them. It never made sense, really, to go. After all Bridget spent most of her time in the special education classroom. I had such open communication that I did not feel the need to attend open house. My feeling was that Bridget was the class pet. She came in for a few moments, like a puppy, gave hugs and went back to the special education room when “learning” was happening within the classroom.
It made somewhat sense, at the time. Bridget needed the directed lessons. Bridget cannot write her name, add or recite the alphabet. She is probably a distraction and as she is not learning in the traditional classroom the argument could be made that she be in the special education room. It worked, Bridget’s language exploded and she learned to read sight words.
Hard to argue with success. Continue reading
I honestly believe that homework is teacher’s revenge for having to deal with children all day. I thought the math homework was bad. Then a few years ago we had our first “project”. Abby had to make a simple machine. Or should I say, David had to make a simple machine that turned into an inclined plane. There were tears, there were arguments and at one point there might have been some vulgar language.
I do not believe that is the intent of the homework project. It is definitely the result. Continue reading
This is not the high school I remember.
When I graduated high school 20+ years ago I saw high school as a holding place until I began my own life. I just had to get through it. I did not see the high school as the platform that would allow me to perform the high dive into life. Rather it was just there. I took the requisite classes (English, History and Math), took typing and gym and a foreign language. I spent a lot of classroom hours in study hall. A place where students where warehoused until their next class.
I read a lot of Harlequin romances in study hall. Continue reading
The Individualized Education Plan (IEP)—the meeting every parent looks forward to attending. Um, not exactly. I dread the IEP meeting; I am never sure what I should be asking versus what I need to be fighting for Bridget to receive. The IEP process is so involved. From the beginning of the process I get tripped up. It starts with what seems to be an innocent question: my input for our vision statement. Do you realize how difficult it is to come up with a vision statement for your child’s education? Try the exercise. Think to yourself: the vision statement for my child’s education experience it would include…
I’m hearing crickets. Continue reading
At the beginning of the summer I finally came to a sense of peace that Kindergarten was going to be okay. Yes, we would be leaving the cocoon of safety we had for four years. My reservations were being replaced by cautious enthusiasm that Bridget would be starting kindergarten in a few weeks. Then it happened. I was smacked in the head (again) that this would not be the easy transition I hoped. Continue reading
**Warning Rant Ahead****
Bridget started in a Montessori daycare within her first few months of life. Before we knew that our fragile daughter would soon become a ‘special’ child.
Transitioning at age three to an integrated preschool was difficult. She was nurtured at Montessori, they accepted her for where she was at her developmental age and they encouraged her growth. There were no labels, there were no educational plans or processes. She was just Bridget. I was so nervous the first day of preschool. I felt like I was leaving my baby, the one who had so many struggles, in a cold classroom. I wasn’t ready. She was, thankfully, more than ready to spread her wings. Continue reading