A Letter to My Child’s School Administrators {That I Hope They Read}

Dear School Administration, 

My child is special. 

I mean, really special. She is a neat kid. She is sweet and sassy, independent and curious, and will be an amazing adult, if I continue to do my job right. 

She is really special. 

But, here’s the thing :: so is every single kid at your school. They are all special and unique. They all have their own gifts and talents, hopes and dreams. They each learn differently, as your teachers are probably learning about right now in Professional Development. They also need to be celebrated differently. 

You see, last year was my first year as a mom with an elementary school student. Kindergarten was a rough transition for my kiddo and for our family {Getting ready and out the door for a 7:30am final bell is no joke, y’all!}, but we got through it together and my babe met all of the guidelines for passing Kindergarten. She learned to read {Thank you, Ms. Chavez, ABCya and RazKids!} and met some great new friends. Everything about the school was great, aside from one major thing :: 

Every 9 weeks there was a gathering of the whole grade and their parents called a “Success Assembly”. The best and the brightest were given awards for their perfect attendance, great marks in behavior and skills they’ve acquired, and “Top Student” of each class that essentially embodies all of the previous awards. In a time where the kids are learning and going through so much {learning to sit and focus for an extended period of time, writing, reading, math, how to just be a student in school}, they now have to be judged publicly for their failures to meet these expectations. Like, super publicly, by the way. In front of all of their Kindergarten peers and their parents. A bunch of strangers can now see who the “top students” and not-so-top students are. 

Now, my child, who has a very good head on her shoulders, has a mother that can explain to her why she is or is not getting your “award”. She understands and gets that she is more than a piece of paper. I can sit my child down, be empathetic to her “failures’, and help pick her back up to the level she can be. 

But I am only the mother to my kid. 

I cannot lift up each special child as you knock them down with these awards. I cannot guarantee that each of your special children will have a parent like me that can explain to them that the hard work they are putting in to school is equal to the hard work that the “Top Students” are putting in. The fact that my child read 150 books last year is astonishing to me, because she walked in only able to read very, very simple rhyming books or books we had read a million times. That deserves an award. The fact that one of my kid’s friends with ADHD was on green {they have a color chart system} for a whole week straight deserves an award. The fact that the child who only spoke Spanish became conversational in English deserves an award. 

Or they at least deserve the same recognition by those running these ceremonies. 

If we break our kiddos down in the basic levels of schooling, they will continue to hate school and be broken as they get older. I was a high school Speech Teacher in my before-kids life, so I’ve seen the kids that excelled and were celebrated and the kids that were broken and were only at school because they were legally obligated. 

Your obligation is to EACH child, not just the ones you get paid for. Reach out to the children who aren’t on your magical lists. Get to know the personalities of those who walk your halls, because I know that if you do, you will learn that each child there is special and deserves to be celebrated for their accomplishments, no matter if they reach your standards or their own. 

Love, 

The Mom To a Very Special Child


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2 Responses to A Letter to My Child’s School Administrators {That I Hope They Read}

  1. Avatar
    Sonya August 18, 2019 at 9:01 pm #

    Thanks for this I really needed this today. Thank god I am not the only one who feels all kids should be celebrated…THANK YOU!

    • Jennifer H
      Jennifer H August 18, 2019 at 9:08 pm #

      Good luck, Momma! We got work to do this year!

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