I loved my child, your student, when he was just an idea. A maybe. A hope. A dream.
He and I functioned as one for nine months and seven days. When he was born it was a loss as well as an indescribable gain.
As a baby, he held qualities beyond his time. We laughed, finding him an old man in a young boy's body, possessing an uncanny understanding of his world and those around him. Yet, ironically, that is his bane--functioning successfully in this world and with those around him.
It hurts my heart in ways immeasurable to see him struggle and it is hard not to point my finger at you sometimes.
He is special. He is valuable. Do you know that?
I want you to care enough to know him.
He lives for bugs and treeforts, taking things apart, reading a book until (in his sleep) it drops to his chest, throwing pebbles into water, the color purple, his stuffed bear, shattering rocks to find what might be inside, getting a letter addressed just to him, asking "why", riding his scooter over a bumpy course, wearing tennis shoes without socks, having his hair ruffled, eating homemade popcorn, exploring nooks and crannies, receiving a compliment.
He is a shining star.
He knows you groan inside when he walks into your classroom, yet he climbs out of bed each morning to spend his day in your care.
I ask you to change some things for me. For him.
- Please do not sit him furthest away from where you teach--that alienates him.
- Please do not have him write his name on the board with a sad face underneath--that humiliates him.
- Please do not pull him out in the hall to tell him you think he is mean, a bully--that deflates him.
- Please do not put him at a table with others who have a hard time concentrating, telling him you don't want him make hard-working students less successful--that beats him down.
- Please do not reward kids by table when you've put him in a group where everyone struggles--that sets him up to fail.
- Please try to feed him more positive feedback than negative--that builds him up.
- Please give him a genuine smile--that makes him feel worthwhile.
- Please treat him like an individual and give him goals he can achieve--that empowers him.
- Please write nice things on his paper in your red pen--that encourages him.
- Please place your hand on his shoulder from time to time--that refocuses him.
- Please tell him a joke or give him a hug every once in a while--that humanizes him.
- Please remember he is a little boy, trying his hardest, who wants more than anything to please you--that is his intent.
I wish I could wrap my arms around him all day long and protect him from unkindness. Sit on his shoulder and guide him seamlessly through social situations. The depth to which I hope he succeeds is immense.
You, he and I want the same thing. He is a boy who leaves our home each morning, declaring, "Today is going to be a good day Mom."
Please be good to him.