Monday, April 20, 2015

A Safe Place

My parents removed the value of grades from our house. Their only motto was "Do your best...your best is an A to us." For a child like me that was so important. Oh how I wish my school life had been the same. When I left home each day, my self-esteem was hurt greatly, not because I had mean teachers (and there were some) but mainly because the hierarchy of school life constantly beat me down and I could not keep up. My parents understood that I had a different way of learning and comprehending and being. I was a dreamer...a wonderer...a creator...odd (let's just be honest) and they let me be that. However, they understood that I had to pass from grade to grade in order to reach my dreams. So they would often reward me JUST for passing...even if it was a D. So how does a child who only got Ds in school graduate, Cum Laud from college? Because I began to work hard to achieve the dreams I had for myself (being a teacher). I was motivated by what interested me. I was motivated by what I wanted to achieve. Wouldn't it be great if k-12 schools were the same way?? Now I am a teacher, but the one thing in these 20 years that I have hated is that there is always a child or more that is like how I was. I am forced to hold up the standard of the school board, but my husband and family will tell you, my heart aches for certain students. They are NOT special needs. There is nothing wrong. They are just designed differently (as we all are). School should not be cookie cutter. I have seen the weight of the pressure destroying their sense of self and I have felt helpless. I have watched as parents sat in my office or classroom crying...trying to figure out what to do or where to go with their child. Now I think God has led me to the type of school philosophy that will help me to provide a place for every child to feel good about how God made them. Traditional schools are fine. But there should be a smorgasbord of choices for parents to make the best education choice for their child. My school will not be big probably but it will be available for EVERY. SINGLE. CHILD. and they will be happy there. No more pain. No more feelings of failure. A community where every child will be welcome (absolutely no bullying from teachers or students allowed) to learn and be as God has designed them and we will celebrate their differences.

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