Several weeks ago, my oldest son’s teachers decided to send home a weekly Friday email telling us about his week.
They mentioned something straight away so there was no confusion: “This email is only to tell good things.” In each one, they have taken care to highlight his participation, his positive interactions with other students, things that made his face light up.
I never knew how much I needed an email like that before it came swooshing into my inbox the first time.
Now I think a bit of me lives in anticipation of receiving it and feeling the pride and love for my son that comes with every word.
Often when you have a child with learning differences (and not to mention the addition of hearing loss)… you can get lost in the academic lists of ways they can improve. At least, that’s been my experience.
I can easily focus only on what could be better.
For the last few years, speech therapy appointments and occupational therapy appointments and audiology appointments and tutoring and meetings with the local ISD have always come with a list of more things to do at home… and left me a bit tired, honestly.
I got used to writing long emails about accommodations and new things I’ve read about learning differences and notes of apology that I couldn’t figure out what exactly would work this time. I got used to feeling a bit defeated every time I’d hear the “swoosh” of an email come at the end of the day… even if it was just a list of homework assignments that would mean hours of struggle ahead.
More than anything, I found I was longing to know if he had a good day and a few details about why.
I was desperate to know if something made him laugh or feel connected to another child.
I’ve been in education for 20 years this year. But in the 8 years I’ve been a mother, I have discovered the joys and the struggles that parents and kids face when traditional learning doesn’t serve them.
I wish I had known earlier.
It’s so simple, really.
A Friday email.
Just good things contained in here.
It can take your breath away.