The totality of education isn’t just about grades. It’s about being intentional and creating life-long learners that understand who they were called to be.
One of the most stressful times in the school year for a parent is when report cards are released. Your heart is pounding nonstop, you start giving yourself a pep talk, you question your child about missing assignments, and you try to remind yourself that you’ve done all that you can as a parent to make sure your child succeeds.
For me, this year was different. I opened the parent portal, skipped the grades, and went straight to the comments. When I read the comments, I sat and cried. They were so inspirational, spoke to my girls’ strengths, and encouraged them in areas where they needed to grow. I thought to myself, “What if every child had the opportunity to experience life-giving words from their teachers that causes them to feel good about their strengths and to be encouraged enough to work through their weaknesses? What if every child had the chance to sit under a teacher whose sole purpose was to be intentional with instruction, make every child known, and to speak life into them?
Change happens IN your child when you’re willing to do something different FOR your child.
As my girls read the comments, my eyes shifted to my oldest daughter. I watched her read every comment, and tears welled up in my eyes as her face brightened, her posture straightened, and her smile widened. Gosh, I needed to see that. Her previous experiences in school were not good. She was the child that always did well on standardized tests, but struggled in the classroom. Not because she wasn’t smart, but because she didn’t have teachers who were committed to understanding HOW she was smart. At every conference, I heard that my child was shy, unorganized, withdrawn, uninterested, performing below her level, and had the potential to do better. I even went to the doctor for testing to see if she was ADD/ADHD. When the doctor said that nothing was wrong, I made the decision to do something different. I partnered with a community that loves God, is life-giving, and makes every child known. Because of my leap of faith, I literally watched my unmotivated child go from being unorganized, withdrawn, and average, to being organized, motivated, making straight A’s, passing every test, loving school, working independently, and literally killing the game. That change was what she needed to catapult her into her destiny. Her teachers love her, and their words and actions have transformed my child.
I understand that everyone’s journey is different. Changing environments caused my child to transform. That may not work for you because of your current situation. As I always say, you have to do what works for YOUR family. Do whatever needs to be done to make sure your child is in an environment that fits their needs, is life-giving and life-changing. Encourage them. Celebrate their strengths and work together to help them grow in their weaknesses. Remind your child that they are smart in their own way. Make your child known. And, when you do those things, you will see a child that loves to learn, thrives because of the positive environment, and is known because of who they are and not how they perform.