I’m so proud of my son… he spoke up today

Posted Thursday, May 17th, 2012. Filed Under Voices of wisdom

I am teaching my kids to speak their truth and challenge systems. Most kids, however, do not know how to communicate unless they are texting and/or chatting on line.

My son has a music teacher who does not know how to teach to children. She is ‘old school’ in the sense that she will call out in front of the class your ability – thumbs up if you are good and thumbs down when you are bad. She yells at the kids if they are not listening. She wonders why she garners no respect. She is only focused on the technicalities of music and forgets about the incredible side of creativity and being able to lose ourselves.

Today, when I received a call from the music teacher to tell me my son refused to do the work and that each child had to work alone and not in partners I just listened. When she finished talking I told her that when my son is not confident about certain subjects, music being one and art being another, he closes up. Fear takes over and he will not budge. I told her I was working with another teacher regarding art and together we got him to the place where he loves art. One day he came home with the most beautiful art piece. The teacher didn’t really care because she said that he crossed a line and didn’t really listen. At this point I am losing my patience. I asked if she can work with him to feel more confident. Somehow the conversation turned to his behaviour of how he can be stubborn and I said the more you yell the more he will shut down. She said she was well aware of his characteristics. It took everything in me to not say anything.

I told her that if she called me in September about his behaviour we could have worked together but now it is May and it’s a little late. In the end she didn’t like the fact that I didn’t say to her — “tell my son to listen or he will be punished”.

She basically said to me she had to go and hung up. Well, that did not sit well with me. I called the school back and left a message for his core teacher.

Forty-five minutes later I receive a call from the ‘acting’ principal that my son was in the office for his behaviour during music. The acting principal told me that my son told her THAT HE DIDN’T FEEL THAT THE MUSIC TEACHER TREATED HIM FAIRLY. I listened and then I talked. I told the acting principal that I agree with my son and that this teacher holds favourites and that she has an expectation of the children to be Mozart’s and Bach’s and to act as though they are studying from the conservatory however these are kids that want to enjoy music and have fun. I told her about my conversation with her that morning and I said I do believe my son feels this way.

THe issue is being resolved but I told my son I was so proud that he articulated how he felt. He is one that will challenge the system. I am working on the respectful part. My son stood his ground and in this case the teacher has overstepped her boundary. As my friend put it nicely she is the wrong teacher for this school environment. She needs to be in a school that focuses on music (although if her abilities is measured by what I saw at the music concert the other day – she should be fired!).

Learning to speak up and speak your truth is so important. Many kids today want to do that but do not know how because they do not know how to communicate face-to-face. I have seen young kids sit side by side in a car, in a restaurant and not speak a word to one another and just text. Who are they texting, one another? Why don’t they talk to one another? It is as though they do not know how…. even to the point of being uncomfortable.

I will allow my kids to have the gadgets but I will remind them that it is just that a tool and not to ever replace that with the ability to talk face-to-face. The young kids today are losing this art and must make sure that they do not.

This weekend I will offer a challenge – get your kids talking with you face-to-face. It will likely mean getting them physically away from their phones, ipads and computers. Ask them to play golf, tennis, go for a walk, join you for a Starbucks coffee … whatever it is that will get them to put down their gadgets. Then… start a conversation. Ask questions and listen. Engage them and let them ask you questions. Silence is ok too. Enjoy this moment of connecting.

Let’s teach our kids how to communicate. This means you too must put away your gadgets. Walk your talk. I know I will do this with my boys this weekend.

For those celebrating Victoria Day this weekend — enjoy.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful spring weekend.

All my love,

Sandra

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