We tried to have kids for three years before we were successful. Three years of hoping this was the time. Three years of doctors shaking their heads, of appointments, of surgery, of medicine to help. Three years of dreaming. When she came I cried knowing that the miracle she was would never be fully understood by others who had not traveled our journey. She cried right along with me.
When she started school I wrote a letter to her telling her of the hopes, the fears, and the dreams we had for her as she embarked on this next phase of her journey. We held her tight, hugged her, and sent her on her way.
For the past eight years, we have been the parents of her and three more siblings, all with their own winding road into being. We have watched in awe as their personalities have grown, as their will have formed. As their knowledge of life, of who they are, of where they fit have expanded and shrank, depending on what happened at any given time. And we have seen the not-so-great, the tantrums, the curveballs that all kids present you with and we have held our breath at times when we have been in public and this thing that is happening right in front of us that seems to have come out of nowhere is making us both want to just die of embarrassment.
You are our most precious. You are the things we are the proudest of. But you are also what we worry about the most. And so with three kids about to start school, I hope we get a chance to tell your teachers who you are. Not so we can pretend you are perfect but so we can present you for everything that you are. Willful and strong, creative and flighty, funny and sometimes mad, but always you, and always a child who is exploring who they are and what life has to offer.
Today, as I prepared our own home survey (Spanish version here) that we send out to all of our incoming parents, I asked my PLN which question do they wish, as parents, they would be asked about their children. The answers were too good not to share, so thank you, everyone, who responded. Thank you for sharing your hopes so that we can all become better teachers. So that we can start the year on the very best foot, hearing who your child is from the people that know them best.
What do parents/guardians wish we would ask them about their child?
When you think about your child, what makes you proud?
What are they passionate about?
What do they cry about at home?
How can I help make this a great year for your son/daughter?
How can I make your child feel safe and open to trying new things?
Do you have any suggestions on how to best connect with your child?
What sparks your child’s interest?
What triggers frustration or withdrawal?
What two things I should do and two things that I should avoid?
What else? What would you add to the list? How would you like to share the story of who your child is with these new teachers?
If you like what you read here, consider reading my newest book, Passionate Readers – The Art of Reaching and Engaging Every Child, out August 2017. This book focuses on the five keys we can implement into any reading community to strengthen student reading experiences, even within the 45 minute English block. If you are looking for solutions and ideas for how to re-engage all of your students consider reading my very first book Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students. Also, if you are wondering where I will be in the coming year or would like to have me speak, please see this page.