Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hidden Gifts

It's that time, the beginning of a new year, where all the kids are heading back to school after winter break. Teachers have been on break for a couple weeks, which in reality feels like a couple days. Unless you're a mom and absolutely ready for your child/ren to go back. It all goes by so fast doesn't it?

I've been thinking a lot lately about parents of my students who get nervous and cringe at sending their child back to school, because the classroom environment has proven to be a tough place for them. It means revisiting old worries, long exhausting meetings, and lots of questions, What's wrong with my child, What can I do to help them be normal?

We all wonder. I am going to talk to you about your children. If there is anything to get out of this post here it is...

Every child is a gift. All of them. Each and every one of them is special and unique in a certain way. Every single kid has challenges. For some, the classroom setting is the most difficult place to show their genius and where their challenges are easiest to see. For others it may be socializing on the playground where they are clueless about being a friend or better yet, how to actually make friends. What I do know is this, if we are patient, calm, and loving we will eventually see the special something in each child.

Like my student with Autism, who is dressed to a "T" on a daily basis. Most stylish girl at the school. One activity turned into her singing a song. That was the day I discovered her gift. If she only knew how beautiful her voice was.

Like my student who is a severe stutterer. Bless his heart, a sentence can't come out of his mouth without some form of dysfluency. But his soccer skills are beyond me. Wouldn't doubt seeing him play in the World Cup. He has the gift of athletisim.

Like my student who has Cerebral Palsy and most likely will never be able to walk or talk. Yet he tries daily to achieve those goals. His smile is contagious and blesses many. His presence is a gift.

Like my 5th grader who is at a 2 year old language level. His work ethic is harder than anything I've ever seen. Never a late assignment, always on time. He has the gift of leadership.

Like my student who constantly gets in trouble for bad behavior. The principal knows his first, middle, and last name by heart. In fact, her office is his classroom. The day he painted me a picture for my bare classroom walls, I knew he was the next Van Gogh. He has the artistic gift.

Every single child is gifted and every single child has challenges. In the school system those gifts are harder to see. As a teacher we are working hard at finding those gifts and celebrating them. As a parent you can help too. Help by believing in your child when you know school is tough. There is one way to help... It's super hard but works.

Help by believing that our kids are okay.

Everyone of them. The perfect ones, the mean ones, the shy ones, the oh-so-hyper ones, the so far behind ones, and the autistic ones.

Here's the deal. These kids can handle a teacher, or another student accidently suggesting they're not okay. As long as when they go home they can look at mom and dad and know that they truly are ok. Make sense? We are all a team striving to make every students life a success story. Let's do what we can so that they believe in us and know we are happy to be on their team. Celebrate their challenges and respond by believing.


  1. Natalie! This post is amazing. So accurate and on the money. I'm bookmarking this to reread many times over!

    I hope all is well! It's weird not seeing you daily to mumble and grumble about assignments and professors! ;) not that we ever did that, anyway!

    I wanted to share with you a friend of mine's blog because you two should follow each other. you're blog besties in the making! Her site is: http://loveawholelatte.blogspot.com/

    I shared yours with her, hoping that's alright! I know she'll love yours. Anyway, hope all is well!!


  2. Thank you so much steph! Means a lot! I checked your friends blog out, so much fun! Miss seeing you :)