If my mother had listened to my teacher she would have realized what a horrible child I was. How I should be kept away from others. How I should not be with children my own age because I would corrupt them. How I was doomed to live a life of solitude because no one was safe around me.
If my mother had listened to my teacher she would have realized how little imagination I had except for the morose. That my stories lacked depth, that my personality was dull. That writing was not my strength but something I could maybe get through if I just understood what it meant to follow the rules a bit more.
If my mother had listened to my teacher she would have realized that I was far too outspoken. That I never put my hand down and I needed to learn to be silent. That yes having an opinion was great but listening was better. That it didn’t always pay off to fight for what you believed in if it meant disrupting the peace.
If my mother had listened to my teacher she would have realized that there was something wrong with me. That I was special but not in a good way. That I may be smart but I didn’t use it for anything good. That other children couldn’t learn from me. That I needed to hide what I knew so that others wouldn’t find me odd.
If my mother had listened to my teacher she would have realized that I had spunk. That I had nerve. That I had worth. She would have realized that I was creative, that I was a hard worker even if I couldn’t get something. That I was smart. That I had friends, that I could be a leader. That although I was not quite the person I wanted to be yet, that some day I would get there.
She did, because she already knew those things. I was the one that didn’t.
There are so many things that we tell parents every day, what will be the things that they choose not to listen to? What will be the things that a child carries with them the rest of their life?
I am a passionate teacher in Oregon, Wisconsin, USA, who has taught 4th, 5th, and 7th grade. Proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day. First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classrooms Back to Our Students” can be purchased now. Second book“Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners” is out now from Corwin Press. Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.