After haggling with my principal, I was approved to bring my 8 year old son to work with me on Thursday. This being an elementary school, and him being an elementary school student, I thought this would be no biggee. Apparently, it was. (That story is for another day…)
My goal for bringing my son to work with me was to help expose him to children with differences and hopefully build some compassion and love. Plus, I wanted him to see that I don’t just get coughed and spit on all day. True story: sometimes he tells me “Let’s play student and teacher! I’ll be the student!” He then walks up to me and beings coughing in my face manically. Real funny.
We began our morning at 7:30 with a Starbucks treat of hot chocolate and cake pop. Cuz I’m an awesome mom like that. And then everything went pretty much downhill from there. Rather than building compassion for my students, I’m pretty sure he got scared off. Big time. There is only so many times you can have a child shriek in your mother’s face or watch another child trying to attack his teacher repeatedly or watch another child wailing and rocking and thrashing, before you want to go home. Forever.
After a fast food lunch, things went much better. He played a board game with one of my students who uses high-tech AAC. He helped with a Lorax story re-tell. He was on a team with one boy playing Guess Who.
And then at exactly 3:30 he said, “Let’s Go!” Apparently forgetting that mommy usually has 2 hours of paperwork to do after the day is over….
I asked him for some observations about the day and he stated that I am much more “fierce” than he had imagined. He actually admitted that maybe he is not the only child in the world that I am “mean” to. 😉 And he gave me 5 observations. They are as follows:
1. Some of the kids use a lot of weird words. (Meaning some of my semi-nonverbal students are hard to understand.)
2. You yell a lot (I’d like to argue this point and say I actually never yelled the entire day. I just use a lot of firm command voices.)
3. You do a lot of work (Again, I’d argue this point since he made me leave at 3:30 AND every time I needed to use my computer for work he had grabbed it and was watching minecraft videos).
4. You have a lot of students (No argument)
5. Sometimes they drool a lot. (Although this is true, I think he’s forgetting pictures of himself until age 2 with his entire shirt covered in slobber).
In the end, he said he’s not coming back until he’s 20. I do not foresee a future in special education for him.
Next year… I’m bringing my daughter!