Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Homework: Hopes and Dreams

C.S. came home with a homework assignment, for me. His teacher asked the parents to fill out a sheet describing "my hopes and dreams for my child's academic and social growth:" For my answer, I was allotted 5 lines for academic and 5 lines for social. Gooodness!! Has she no idea what she has asked of me or of who maybe? For starters, 5 lines is not nearly enough space. I've been trying to keep my posts trim, but I've got plenty to think about and apparently even more to say on the subject.

This is what I turned in:
Academic Growth: Having gone through so many tests recently, C.S. has confirmed for me what I instinctively know and witness everyday; that he is, in so many ways, an exceptionally gifted little guy. Academically, he excels in reading, math and where/when-ever his amazing spatial reasoning can come into play with a visual assist. Add to this, he loves to learn. He eats up facts and makes remarkably perceptive connections between them. He shows a talent for writing poetry. He is a gifted public speaker. He recently developed his own punctuation marks to indicate not only his intended placement of a dramatic pause but also the intended duration required to realize the most dramatic affect — that he achieved, beautifully (that his father thankfully saw, but I unfortunately missed) at 2nd grade literature night last year. It is my hope that C.S. can build upon his strengths and continue to push himself to his full potential even if that means he needs to work beyond the third grade level. It is also my hope that his peers will learn to recognize and value his skills and so discover one of the many ways C.S. so deserves their respect.

Social Growth: In some sort of karmic universal balancing act perhaps, my son's exceptional academic strengths are matched by an equally remarkable (if not more remarked upon) set of social weaknesses. Recently I have pushed hard and made it a personal goal that his social challenges be recognized and understood. Having succeeded in reinstating him to receive special services, I look forward to a school year of positive social changes for him. I have every expectation that the many caring and talented specialists now involved in his school day will succeed as they help my son overcome his social weakness and grow strong. But, distinctly separate from this is my hope that even though he may now be labeled as special needs and/or on the autism spectrum, he will receive understanding and compassion. I find my son to be endearing, charming, remarkably engaging and an unbiased champion for fairness. He is caring, loving and empathetic. And though oddly quirky, he is an absolutely wonderful individual — a trait he realizes with remarkable intention for his grade (as his recent insistence upon changing his name clearly indicates). Even while I hope to better socially integrate him, I have no desire to fundamentally change him. He is who he is. He is original. It is my dream that his peers will admire and value his wonderful uniqueness, individuality and distinctiveness among them.

Of course I loved that she assigned this. Though just three or four days into it, third grade is starting out with many positives so far. And by all indications, I'm happy to confirm what I've been told, that my son has a great teacher!

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