Monday, November 18, 2013

Do As I Say, Not as I Did

Since it's the time most parents are receiving report cards and attending parent/teacher conferences I thought this was fitting.

Yesterday, while at my parents my mom came across a file with all my school records. She saved everything progress reports, report cards, and disciplinary notices. I know I was beyond rotten when I was in middle school, that's why I wouldn't tell Jordan about my middle school experience (well, not until he was in high school). Time has changed my memories of what I really was like. I could have swore that I got my act together before high school, my file says differently. Jordan was really intrigued by my report cards since I'm a stickler about their grades. He couldn't believe that every year I had barely squeaked by to pass. He told me (bless his heart), "Mom, I' m really disappointed with you. You really needed to apply yourself." I was shocked by how often I spent time in the principal's office and in school suspension, after seeing the notices I remember. I also forgot about attending summer school, because I was too cool to actually go to class during the school year. It was neat and somewhat embarrassing to share my adolescent school experience with my boys. They were shocked both at how I behaved and what my grades were. They pointed out that if I had been my kid, I would have been in SO MUCH trouble (LOL).

Last week I had conferences for my boys and received their report cards. I keep pretty good tabs on both their behavior and their grades, so not much the teachers tell me isn't something I wasn't expecting. We have a practice that the boys tell me what they think their teachers will be telling me once I see them, which helps me prepare for any other surprises the teachers might drop on me. Also gives me the chance to address any issues the boys' had expressed. All my boys are doing good so far (some more than others). Most of the teachers' comments I expect, and can relate to what my boys are doing in class.

After seeing my report cards it was ironic to hear the same comments from my kids' teacher as my mother heard about me. I must not have mastered those skills well enough to pass them on to my boys. All four of us got comments such as: Very talkative (For those who know me, know how true this is), disrupts other students (how else are we suppose to get them to listen to us talk), does not turn in assignments on time (we do them, just forget to turn them in), shows eagerness to learn, very help, helpful to other students, positive attitude (except for mine in middle school), participates in class discussions.

I want better for my kids, than I gave myself. They are right middle school Me would have been in so much trouble if I was my child. I expect a lot of my boys, but they always reach (and sometimes exceed) my expectations.  I took discovering my old school records as a teachable moment to explain how they do in school and how they act now is so important. That I want them to learn to care about their own grades and attitudes, because I didn't when I was younger and it reflects in those reports. Do as I say, not as I did. I wish I had done better when I was younger, cared more, fought everyone less; but it is what is. Now it's up to me for help my kiddos learned the skills they need to be successful in school.

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