I recently read an article that a teacher who works at my kids’ school shared on Facebook. Her caption to the article link was something like, “We care about each one.” While lengthy, it is a definite must that you read it completely before continuing with this post so that you will fully understand my plight.
Now… My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 6. She also has some severe emotional issues and suffers from anxiety. I have sought every method of help for her that I know is available to me. She has been put on medication, she has had counseling, she has been taught some coping techniques by her therapist, and she has had one, maybe two teachers who have been able to work with her in a caring, compassionate, yet firm way, so that she understood that they were on her side. My initial thought after reading this article was to post a comment expressing how I felt about the lack of patience and guidance and understanding many of the teachers and administrators seem to have when it comes to my child. But as I began typing my thoughts I felt like it was the wrong forum for all that I had to say. I cut the text and pasted it into my text message box until I decided what I was going to do with it. These were pretty much my thoughts at that time:
I am a parent of THAT child and I only wish some of those teachers cared as much… “I will, no matter what happens, continue to look for, and to find, the good, amazing, special, and wonderful things about your child…” [sucks teeth and rolls eyes] Talk is cheap! She’s far from perfect, I’ll be the first to attest to that; but there are a lot of good things that could be said for, to, and about her, but I wonder why 99% of the time we only ever hear the bad… Many of them care with conditions and limitations. They really don’t want to be bothered with THAT child because it’s too much of an inconvenience. It’s not conducive to their ideal working environment or teacher/student relationship. Never mind the “crisis plan,” just get her out of MY classroom… as if she’s not worthy of being taught, regardless of her emotional instability. Never mind the other kids taunting or picking on her behind the teacher’s back, she has caused another uproar in the class, who cares what her reasons are, just write her up and get her out of here! Never mind the verbal praise on a day she doesn’t have an outburst, let’s just harp on everything wrong and be sure to tell her mom about all the negative situations and sum it up with, “But she’s a very smart girl.” What a load of bull!! I’m so over the fake and phoney and well overdue for some genuine care and concern for my child…
I feel as though I am the only person advocating for her. I’m not the type of parent who upholds her child when she’s wrong. I don’t make excuses for her behavior. I discipline her, both physical and non-physical. I talk with her, try to reason with her, and I make sure I explain to her the consequences of her actions. She fully understands right from wrong, good from bad, the acceptable as well the unacceptable, and appropriate from inappropriate. She also has sense enough to know when someone is mistreating her, being unfair, or doing something to her just because, or just to agitate her. She’s not always in control of her emotional state of mind. She cries, screams, throws fits, sometimes throws things, becomes belligerent and oftentimes defiant. All of these things I am aware of. Each school year the new teachers (if not already familiar with her behaviors) are made aware of all of her “issues.” They’ve labeled her as a misfit and a disruption to the learning environment. The other kids all know what to do to set her off and to then seem like innocent bystanders as if they did nothing wrong. But in the teacher’s eyes, she is just causing a disruption. When she is then scolded and hears the snickers of the other children, she reaches her boiling point. But it really seems to me that none of that matters to the teachers. I know she will sit in class and refuse to do work sometimes. But I also know that sometimes she needs help and doesn’t understand; and maybe she needs a little more help – one-on-one… But how can a child ask for help from a teacher she feels doesn’t care if she understands it or not? And I know that’s how she feels a lot of the time.
My child is not without blame in these situations and occurrences. But she again, is just a child and she needs nurturing, time, care, attention, and to know that the people who are supposed to care about her and her learning ability and her well-being, actually do care.