Friday, August 16, 2013

Getting to Know Them

I keep thinking back on Olivia’s year in preschool, which was two years ago. It was…okay. She was okay.

But she didn’t thrive in that classroom. I even got the impression that her teacher didn’t like her very much. That breaks my heart.

Olivia is…well, obviously, she’s special. She’s got the diagnosis to prove it. But she’s so much more than the little girl who won’t talk to her teacher or her peers.

My mom and I were talking last night about the coming year and how Jaxon and Olivia and even Alyssa will have some challenges to face as they start school.

Alyssa’s got the lockers on the mind. They are stressing a girl out, let me tell you.

Jaxon, he’s very social but he’s so much like my brother when it comes to learning. He refuses to let my mom or even his mom, teach him anything. Just like his dad, Jaxon insists, “My teacher will teach me that.” The social aspects of school will not challenge this boy even a little but the academic? He’s in for some tough love.

Olivia, on the other hand, is doing well academically. At least at home. But at school, the social parts get in the way of her shining academically. I mean, you have to talk in order for your teachers to know what you know. You have to talk to your peers for them to see how funny, how smart, how sweet you are.

The thing is, the thing that I think irritates her teachers the most, is that Olivia doesn’t care about the social aspects of school. She doesn’t feel a need to be a part of the group. She doesn’t care if her peers play with her. She’s perfectly happy to find a corner and a small trinket and lay there, centering in on herself, practically meditating as the room erupts into chaos around her.

But she can be so active too, running around, laughing, making up stories and acting them out. But she has to trust those around her before she’ll show them this side of herself.

I pray that as she gets older and bigger, that her trust comes a little more quickly for her teachers. They’re missing out so much when they don’t get to see the side of my girl that I see.

I do realize that these teachers, two of them in a classroom of 40 five and six year olds, do the best they can. They can’t spend quality time with each child every single day. I know this. Which is why I worry so about Olivia. She may need more than these teachers can give her.

We’re going to give this a try this year and see what happens. I just want what every parent out there wants. I want for my girls to know love, to love learning, to be respected for their individual strengths and yes, weaknesses. I want people, teachers included, to take the time to get to know these girls, to learn who they are before they decide what they’re capable of.

I know it’s up to both A and O to shine on their own so others see them. I know this and yet…I worry so about them getting lost in the crowd, the system. As their mother, it’s up to me to do whatever I can to make sure that doesn’t happen.

I’m trying, is what I’m saying.

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