When you have a child with special needs or one who struggles academically for whatever reason, you know you have to advocate for your child.
You’ll have multiple meetings a year and frequent progress updates. The teacher is aware and tends to stay on top of things.
Or maybe you have a child who is at the top of the class, ahead of where he needs to be. You don’t worry all that much because you know he’s doing a fantastic job. And you probably even hear that from the teacher because it’s exciting when a child is succeeding.
I have one of each of those.
But I also have one in the middle. One of those kids who so often gets lost in the shuffle.
He’s not a behavior problem. He follows directions, he’s polite, he’s a very hard worker. He really excels in one class, but has some difficulty in another.
But not so much difficulty that it would send up immediate red flags. After all, he’s working hard and not causing any problems.
Yet, he’s not making the progress that he should because he’s in the middle of chaos(or “a really chatty class” as it was more diplomatically put to me) and while he doesn’t join in with the chatter(because that’s against the rules and he’s very much a rule follower, even when others aren’t following the rules), he’s not able to tune it out and focus on his work, either.
So those grades? They aren’t a reflection of what he can really do.
And no, this isn’t a parent getting all worked up because her child doesn’t have straight A’s. But a parent concerned that her child isn’t in the right environment to actually be able to learn and to show what he really knows, instead of what he manages to accomplish in the midst of that situation.
And yes, suck it up, he’s not always going to have the ideal environment and he’s going to have to learn to adapt.
But, I also don’t think that’s something we have to tell our kids who are still in elementary school, to just suck it up.
He doesn’t complain, because that’s not his nature.
And he doesn’t draw the teacher’s eye because he’s not a troublemaker, or the one who struggles the most, or the one who always knows all the answers.
He’s getting lost in the shuffle.
Update: after talking to his teacher, I feel a little better about the situation. She’s trying to not lose him in the middle and she really does want to help him. But there are still changes to be made and I’m still worried. Can’t we ever just have an easy school year? Just one, please.
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