Monday, March 5, 2012

Being Super: Moments of MotherHood

Tafilele's Super Citizen loot!

I wonder if any of the teachers, administrators or faculty recognize how important Super Citizen awards & assemblies are to the students & families & friends.

I watch month after month as parents & siblings & aunts & uncles & all sorts of cousins make or buy a variety of candy/toy/money lei's and crowd on to the campus to celebrate with their Super Citizen.

They happily shell out many dollars to buy lei's from the stands or grab bags or posters for their kid. These are people who have other places to be, other things to do but they make the time & find the money to let their child know - You're important to me.


(How do the school people miss this?)

I had my third son's teacher ask me if I was okay with him missing an SFA reading class to attend his older brother's Super Citizen award assembly (they're in different grades). She stood there in the classroom door ready to tell me No, my son can not leave class when I looked right back at her with a Oh yes he is leaving. Right now.

(He left with me to go to the assembly)

I thought it was stupid of her to ask me that especially when as a school, the school doesn't mind children missing SFA to attend assembly in support of their classmates. I say that because for every Super Citizen assembly, the whole school take time out from its SFA reading time to attend assembly. They all miss it. And had it not been raining, Katz would've been there anyway. Since the school is large, they split the assembly into 2 sections: k-3 & then 4-6.

I  intended to go back & confront her about her attitude but guess what? She's a PTT (part time teacher) & had already departed the campus.

(Lucky her.)


Super Citizen awards for our family is about strengthening our family ties by being in a family moment. When my sons look back on their lives - their going to see & remember, we were here. All of us. That picture of my three boys would not have been possible if that damned teacher had her selfish short sighted narrow minded way because to her a reading lesson was more important that being a family.

She could not have bought back for my children the moment of them sharing in each others joy. She could not have recaptured the look on Tafilele's face seeing both of his brothers waiting with lei's & posters for him to come out of the cafeteria. She can not in any ability re-create the joyful noise & teasing of each my children in that time.

She can however keep on teaching reading. The book is not going to run away never to be read again & neither is the lesson. It can be re-taught. It can be re-done. It can be replaced.

I wonder if the ambiguity of selecting & recognizing Super Citizens was equally applied to teachers, faculty & administrators how they would feel about that. Oh, wait! That's what we're already trying to do to teachers by re-structuring their pay scales based on the performance of their students testing scores!

(Maybe they do realize how unfair it is. Maybe.)

I watched this last award assembly with some amusement. One whole 3rd grade class went with no Super Citizens. Why do teachers insist on wasting these precious few opportunities to boost the morale of their students & families by focusing on ambiguous qualities? For one teacher even if a student is struggling academically but is socially progressive this would count as a Super Citizen. For another, high academic scores & low social progression is another Super Citizen.

Some times I don't get it. These teachers have many of us parents by the throat waiting anxiously for our children to be "recognized" as the Super Citizens they truly are. As a parent, we get stuck with the "doesn't my teacher like me? I did so good this last month but she didn't pick me" or some such version of that question.

(Borrowing from KCCN 100's morning show... I wish on each teacher that has ever held his or her Super Citizen recommendation for a student HOSTAGE until their demands are met or excelled academically ~ massive toilet shattering diarrhea.)

A lot of effort goes into being a teacher. But I wonder if teachers really sit down & think about the effort a child puts into being a student. What children are expected to learn & regurgitate on a daily basis in a class room astounds me.

I remember when the hardest thing I had to "learn" to do when I was in kindergarten 35 some odd years ago - was to play nice, not bite the other kids & wipe my own ass nose. Now a days, kinder aged kids are learning algebra & reading & the power of pressure from themselves & teachers & families & friends as everyone pushes kids to be smarter/faster/better than all the other kids.

(Is it any wonder that our kids start unraveling as we continue cranking up the torque?)

I know that my 3 boys have each challenged all of their teachers. They are bright, they are smart and they are capable of so much more than what their teachers are getting from them. A good portion of what their teachers are NOT GETTING from them is because of me.

Because I believe that while my children are children, they deserve more than anything else to have a childhood. There will be time for them to continue learning book stuff. Once they move on from childhood - they can never get it back again.

With love & delicious Super Citizens~
Cy.


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