Remind Me to Thank My Son’s Teacher

Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 3.54.04 PMOne would have thought that some large financial payout was waiting for my son at the completion of his homework. It was not. When I walked in the door today, he looked at me and said…

“Mom, I need your help with math.”

Either he was joking with me or he wanted something because my son has never let me help him with math.

He has always hinted about “living in my shadow”. Being the son of a math educator, people often make the assumption that he is great at math too. To be fair, he is, but he’d rather it not be a point of discussion. He’s one of those kids that is quietly smart but would rather that no one knew.

Today was different. He was excited to share what he knew. He was deliberate in his questions and quick to shut down any indicator that I might give too much away. Watching him work was like watching poetry in motion. This was new territory for us.

He was calm, frustrated (in a good way), relaxed and excited. The only technology involved was the Nspire App that he used for graphing. My son was exuberant while doing an algebraic applications worksheet.

I caught a glimpse of my son’s worksheet and noticed the word “late” written across the top which led me to ask him about this new piece of information…late work. Surely, the threat of a lower grade is what contributed to his determination with homework, right?


My son looked at me and said…

“My teacher gave me this new copy and told me that she trusted me to get it done. She didn’t threaten to call you…She trusted ME.”

For the next hour, we discussed everything from continuous/discrete functions to independent and dependent variables. He even managed to make fun of the “nerdism” of math through youtube flocabulary…of which he knew all of the words.

Tonight,  I watched a young man whose education has been filled with more downs than ups be empowered by something else…TRUST.

Tonight was not the night to throw a fit about his math worksheet or the word “late” on the top.  Tonight was the night to listen  and relish in his first day in a long time of feeling like he mattered at school.

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