Last year was a hard school year for one of our kids. Can you relate? Some years are definitely better than others. Some years you have some control over the school chaos, some years it controls you. Last year, the school chaos was a big part of our lives.
My hope as a parent, with any new school year is that my kids both have teachers that “get them,” and that this happens sooner rather than later. Like, on Day #1, please! Does it usually happen like this? No. But, often, if their teachers are really paying attention, by the time we go in for the beginning of the year parent-teacher conferences, we know if our children are both truly being seen.
And, I’m talking about warts and all here, not just sugar coating the positives. No one is perfect, so as a parent, I always want to hear the full school report.
But, what I realized last year, or was at least reminded of, was how my kids are being seen through the lens of someone else. And, let’s say that the other person was in a bad space and was seeing their lives and the lives around them through a very negative point-of-view… Well, it made for a very draining school year for the students and parents alike (although lets be honest, the kids got the brunt of it having to be in this negative classroom every school day).
Fast forward to this year. I recently received a call from one of my children’s teachers at 8:30pm on a Monday night. And yes, my first thought was, “if a teacher’s calling at this time of night, it just can’t be good!”
Boy was I wrong!!
This teacher was calling me because she truly saw my child and wanted to share her observations and her suggestions on how to enhance the unique traits she was seeing. She reframed all the “negatives” we had heard throughout the previous school year in such a beautiful, positive and empowering way.
Plus, as a parent, it was just so very validating. Why? Because we’re often the first people to see our children’s differences in a positive light, but sometimes others don’t believe us, can’t see them the same way we do, see them as negative traits, etc.
I was so profoundly thankful that this teacher took time out of her evening to give me this gift. It’s truly a testament to who she is both personally and professionally.
For all of us, what would it be like to look for ways to build others up, to see their uniqueness and embrace their differences in a positive way, so that this person truly feels seen by us?