Tuesday, December 3, 2013

From Academically Ineligible for Wrestling Last Year to Honor Roll

In August I was in a panic about my son and the school.  The start of his freshman year had been horrible.  Too many of his teachers either didn't understand how to teach him or didn't care to teach.  Several of them admitted to not bothering to help him although they didn't see anything wrong with what they did or didn't do.  I was not going to let this year be a repeat of last year.  A crucial part of that was planning for him to be in the right classes with the right teachers.

The high school failed to have the spring planning meeting that I requested.  The principal and superintendent failed to respond to my request for a summer meeting.  The superintendent had the gall to tell me that he can't expect the teachers to come to a meeting before their contracted work days begin.  As a substitute teacher I had been required to go to a training meeting the previous week- unpaid.  

Enough of the horrible past...

On to the wonderful present....

My son made the honor roll this fall.  His teachers are wonderful and work with him.  I have had very little contact with his teachers.  This is the way it should be for a 10th grader learning to be independent.  Occasionally, I need to contact a teacher when he didn't understand how to use a computer program to find information or other minor things.  I should not need to be involved in the day to day workings of school.  I help with homework as needed and discuss school but he has learned self-reliance and academic independence.

Lest you think he made honor roll because he was taking easy classes, here is his schedule:

ICP (Introduction to Chemistry & Physics)- College Prep
College Prep English
Spanish II
Health (1st semester)/ Physical Education (2nd semester)
World History- Required of all 10th graders

I include football as part of his schedule because it was a large part of his day and I think sports are as important as the academics for him.  Football and wrestling may be more important in the grand scheme of life.  Sports has allowed him to be part of a team, make real connections with his peers and practice social skills.  His self confidence and self esteem are greatly improved.  

While his improved grades will help him achieve his goals, his greater understanding of people and social situations will help ensure his safety.  I used to worry constantly about his future.  How much will he understand of the world?  Will he ever understand money?  Will he ever be able to care for himself?  How will I protect him from all the people who will try to take advantage of him?  

These concerns seem almost silly now.  My son understands the value of money, saves every penny he can and read finance books in his spare time.  He is the only one in the house who always gets himself up, showered, dressed and ready without any prodding from me.  He does his homework and chores without being reminded.  

My son (and his brothers) still need me.  He still needs guidance and support.  His needs now are not much different that any typically developing teenager.  His coping skills are better than most because he had to learn them early in life.