Are we all that different?

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Parent-Teacher conferences took place last week and parents were encouraged to fill out a paper with two questions on it:

What are your hopes and dreams for your child?

How can our school help them achieve these dreams?

As I was cutting these out, preparing to post them on the bulletin board, I read each one. Reading them filled me up with so much joy and it warmed my heart. I read so many sweet things like: “I’d like for my child to grow up being curious and have a love for learning,” and “My hope is that my child will become more confident and continue to develop empathy for others.”

Each one had the name of their child and provided context for me when reading the hopes and dreams for that child. The one thing I realized by the end of cutting them all out is that these parents speak different languages, have different beliefs, have different jobs, and live completely different lives, but the one major thing they all have in common is the wanting of the best for their child.

One parent answered the questions with the following:

What are your hopes and dreams for your child?

“My hopes and dreams for (child’s name) is to continue to grow emotionally, socially, and academically, to have fun, and become aware of his strengths and utilize them. I would also like for (child’s name) to embrace his challenges and work hard to overcome them.”

How can our school help them achieve these dreams?

“By providing him with an Orca card so that he does not have to worry about how he will get to and from school to achieve his academic goals.”

This really touched me because worrying about how their child is going to get to school is honestly something most parents at the school don’t have to worry about. The fact that his mom wrote it in a way that says her son was the one who worried because he cares about achieving his academic goals is powerful. Things like that shouldn’t have to be a worry for a family, especially the child/student.

Regarding the second question, parents also wanted individualization, healthy challenges, school-parent communication, and their child’s voice to be heard. These are things that parents are saying can help achieve their hopes and dreams for their children. These are things we can provide for them. These are things we should provide for them. They deserve it. They deserve it because we’re not all that different. We all want what’s best for the children of our future.

This also made me think what would my parents have written on that paper when I was in Elementary school? So I asked them. Funnily, I didn’t get a serious answer from my dad. So I asked my aunt, who has been a mother figure throughout my life. Here was her response:

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