With school starting up again in about 3 weeks, Little Man’s anxiety around school will soon be ramping up again. He will be participating in a four-day review session at school, where he’ll be there half days, beginning August 19. I will not tell him about it until a week prior, because of his anxiety. He will obsess and be anxious about it. At his age (10 1/2), a week gives him time to adjust to the idea of going to Jump Start, but not so much time that he spends the entire summer dreading it.
Little Man’s teacher this year is a woman who used to be the school’s full-time Special Education teacher. Because of that, she has a big toolbox when it comes to how to teach my son. She has lots of skills. I am very encouraged. But, she also has a personality that tends to exude stress.
When I think of someone who works with kids who need special education, kids who most likely are stressed out just by having to be at school, the personality I imagine is one of calm in any storm. Unflappable. Someone who can figure out how to reach the child who might be hard to reach. This is not what I have seen in the woman who will spend 184 days with my son this school year.
My dream is for my son to be able to see past the façade of stress and loud brashness that his teacher will often put forth this year. I have been told that she actually has a heart of gold, and I have seen evidence of it, when she came to Little Man’s IEP meeting last June. I would love for her to be able to do some work on herself, to bring more peace and calm into her heart, but that’s her gig. Not mine to do.
My dream is for Little Man’s teacher to forge a special connection with him. One where he knows that no matter what, she has his back. Even when she’s a stress ball, flapping around the classroom, barking this and that. That Little Man will be able to see through the façade, into her true intentions.
My dream is for Little Man to recognize that he gets bombarded with everyone’s energy when he’s in a classroom, and that he does NOT have to take it in. He can hold his boundary strong and know that his force field is in place. And if he does become a sponge and take on his classmate’s “stuff” he can wring himself out at will. He does not need to be overwhelmed on a daily basis.
My dream is for Little Man’s mental block against reading to dissolve. He can read. And it’s ok to increase the number of words that he recognizes so that reading isn’t nearly such a chore. I hope that he can put down the 10 ton rock of reading dread, and be ok with it.
My dream for Little Man is for his teacher to see his brilliance. To be able to experience his unbounded and amazing creativity. For her to get him. To see past his challenges with reading and with math, and to help his self-confidence within the academic arena to bloom.
Is that too much to ask?