Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Teacher Mom In Me, Just Me Being Real....

There are two things I have always wanted to be. 1) A Teacher. 2)A Parent. I am lucky that I have had the great honor to do both. Maybe like you, for some of the journey the two have collided at school as they have come where I have taught. It was much, much easier that way and there was a season in 6th grade when I was my son's teacher.

I started teaching in 1994 and I became a mom in 1996 when I adopted my chosen one, Isaiah who is now a senior. It has been a journey together in all arenas but especially in the arena we call school.  He was never a confident learner and that has carried him like a thorn in the flesh for quite some time. In spite of my interventions, other's interventions and in spite of raising him to believe in himself, he still carries a seed of self doubt that holds him back.

He was also the boy who wanted attention. You would thing being someone raised by a single mom for the all but two years of his life when I was married to my daughter's father, he'd feel like he got attention. But he sought it from friends..alas, in goofy and strange ways.

So I put him in private school for HS. It is a nice small Christian school and for the most part, I have been happy with the journey he has had there. It has saved him in so many ways and provided him with great friends and experiences. All drama aside, he wants to go to Northwestern here in the Twin Cities for their Criminal Justice program and be a cop. So he has a goal, but he lost his way in the action steps.

Maybe it is a combination of his learning style, his attitude about things and way too early emergence of senioritis that for about a month, took him and I on a crazy loop. Resulting in me becoming "that mom" who gave a lecture every day and came down hard on him like a pro wrestler in a body slam. I don't want to be that mom. But, sometimes..well, you have to.

I also tried to lift him up too and remind him that there is a perfect plan in the world for him and that there are different ways to be smart. I wrote YOU ARE A GENIUS AND THE WORLD IS WORTHY OF YOUR CONTRIBUTION  on the bathroom mirror and sent it via text messages and over his FB feed.

And I hit the floor with my knees and prayed. Oh, Lord...please watch over my Mr. 17.

But the one thing I keep fighting inside of me (but I am getting so much better at this)  is owning this problem and feeling like I am a rotten parent because my son struggles at school. (You know, the teacher's kid really should do better than that---are the lies whispered in my ear.)

Though this time, through with five months to go and him crashing and having a life and learning melt down on me, I just dismissed the lies that tried to fill my head. My plan of attack was to seek out answers and to help him make the best decisions based on what information was at hand. My plan of attack includes counselling for him to work on these tough issues that seem to creep up..because someday, he will have to be someone's employee (or his own boss) and someone's husband and someone's dad. I have tried to help him as well as my family (we're mostly all educators) but it is also good to realize when your own children need help outside of you.

With action steps in place and with counseling starting..I feel confident and relieved. (Thanks God!)

It is hard too, just like in a classroom when your children learn differently. What one struggles with the other finds easy. The 8 intelligences are alive and well in my home..and I only have two children! How does that lady have 21??? (And why is she still counting?) I'd go crazy. Miss 8 learns differently than her brother. She is a perfectionist and drives me up the wall. She will cry if she can't find the answer to a problem. She will fret about if she even knows the right answer. My battles with her reside in mantras that go like this, "You are not God, you are not perfect. You are just right..just the way you are. RELAX!"

So I have one child who needs to step it up. One who needs to step it down. Lucky me.

Educators are humans too and we are just doing our best like any other parent out there to raise our children. We hit road blocks, we struggle, we wring our hands, we stay up at night, we pray and we love with wild abandon. Our children, all children, are gifts and each gift is precious and I am blessed to be able to be a mom and an educator. I would not have it any other way.

Tonight on #ArkEdChat with Daisy Dyer Duerr, we will be talking about being a parent and a teacher. I am excited about the conversation and can't wait to see where it leads.

You will lose your baby teeth. 
At times, you'll lose your faith in me. 
You will lose a lot of things, 
But you cannot lose my love. 

You may lose your appetite, 
Your guiding sense of wrong and right. 
You may lose your will to fight, 
But you cannot lose my love. 

You will lose your confidence. 
In times of trial, your common sense. 
You may lose your innocence, 
But you cannot lose my love. 

Many things can be misplaced; 
Your very memories be erased. 
No matter what the time or space, 
You cannot lose my love. 
You cannot lose, 
You cannot lose, 
You cannot lose my love.