Yesterday I picked up my son's things at his school. One thing was a report card that appears to be obviously biased based on the teacher for my son's efforts and work. The rest were his notebooks, pencil box, glues, clipboard. His little notebook of notes he's been taking on a plant he's been growing. Day one, planted, day 7 sprouts, days of measuring and drawing pictures of how the plants looked. A book of poems and songs the teacher had taught the kids with my son's own little drawings on the paper. Pumpkins rolling out of sight, dirt made my food, snowmen and snowball fights. His book of spelling words, and repetitive writing of words he got wrong, thankfully not many. I cried. I want my son to continue these experiences that he's been sharing with his classmates. I don't want someone yelling at my kid when he makes mistakes. I want him to be encouraged to be obedient, not threatened and humiliated.
Hannah Montana's song "Everyone makes mistakes" has been going through my head all night.
When I picked up his things I dropped off a letter to the Principal.
Later that day he called me. He said he'd meant to call me the day before but then he was told that I had unenrolled my son from the school and so he'd set it aside to get to later. He was sorry he hadn't gotten to us sooner. He was also sad to hear about the situation and that we felt that we had no other choice than to pull Josh out of school. He encouraged us to give another teacher a try. I expressed my concern that teachers talk and I didn't want Josh going to a teacher that would have a preconceived idea on what kind of kid he was based on what another teacher told her about him. I want a teacher that will be fair and objective.
I talked to Josh and told him to think about it. I encouraged him to make a decision and then pray about if he made the right one. It's easier to get an answer to a made decision than an open ended one that says, "what do I do?". He's flip flopping. I know he'd like to go back, but he's afraid.
I told him about when I was a little girl and had been begging my dad for a horse of my own. We had two horses, but neither could I ride on my own. Finally when I was eleven my dad brought home a horse that my uncle had. Gidget. Gidge had been a very good horse, very well mannered and gentle. However, Gidge had also been fielded with sheep without being ridden for a very long time.
I was sooo excited to finally have a horse of my own!
Gidget came with her own hackamore bridle. This bridle doesn't have a bit to go in the mouth. Gidget used to be ridden with this type of bridle in the past.
Shortly after Dad brought home Gidge I decided to take her out on a ride, using the hackamore. The first part of the ride went well. We went all over the neighborhood. Then suddenly Gidget bolted and took off running with me. I pulled the reins in as far as I could. Her chin must have been pulled to her chest I had pulled back so hard. She would not stop. Finally she came to a field and I started turning her in circles making them tighter and tighter until finally she had to stop. I jumped off fast as I could.
I was so heartbroken that this dream horse had turned out so rotten. I called my dad from a friend's phone and told him I couldn't ride her home. I had him come get her.
Had I never gotten back on Gidge using a new bridle with a bit, I probably would have lost any desire to ride a horse again and lived in fear of riding for the rest of my life. Luckily, there's a saying, "If your horse bucks you off, get right back on again." For one, the horse can't be taught that it can get rid of it's rider for good by bucking it off, and two, it's important to face it and get over it.
When Jake was 12 he broke his leg skiing. He won't ski anymore. If he never tries it again, he will never master it and get over his fear and learn to enjoy it. I feel bad for him, not knowing the joy that comes from skiing.
Had I not gotten back on Gidge, I'd never have had the joys I had the next two years of riding her. Visiting the mountains, showing in horse shows, riding in parades or spending the lazy summer on horseback.
I told Josh this story. Maybe it didn't make sense to him, or it was too over his head. I talked to him about all the fun things he's done in school and he tried to act like they were no big deal. I told him if he lets one teacher ruin that for him, he'll never know the other fun things he could have. He'll miss out.
He's still thinking about what he wants to do.
I'm trying to get a meeting with the Principal and us to see if he can convince Josh that it will be better in another class.