Teachers and Mentors
None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody – a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns – bent down and helped us pick up our boots.
Some call it Spiderman’s Spidey Senses, intuition, gut feelings, second sight. Whatever you call it, when it comes to raising children we need it in spades. Unfortunately, stress undermines our ability to tune into this magical state when we need it most. These little people we raise constantly push the boundaries. When that happens, we need eyes in the back of our heads to raise our children well. Better yet, we need helpers on our sometimes challenging journey.
“She is not doing it, Ms. Bonner, over my dead body!”
My heart skipped and skidded. I was on the phone with my daughter’s French teacher Monsieur Durand. What had my daughter not done? In that short amount of time, I ran several horrible scenarios in my mind.
“What’s the matter Monsieur Durand?” I stuttered.
“Your daughter is going to do French II. She is one of the best, if not the best in class. But she has signed up for Health Science instead.”
I heaved a sigh of relief. The situation was not as bad as I thought. The matter could be fixed, whatever the cause. This was the conversation I wanted to have with any teacher. Some people may think it heavy handed but I love a teacher who is all in. My daughter, who was excellent at French, had decided to do another subject. She loved French. What had precipitated this sudden change? I found out that she had decided to follow her group of friends to the new class. That was her sole reason for skipping French! She needed to be with her friends.
Needing to be reasonable, I discussed the matter when she came home. I cajoled and got nowhere. So I gave her an ultimatum. She could eat with her friends during break and chat during lunch but I put my foot down. She was not going to run away from French II because she loved her friends. That was not a good enough reason. Needless to say, that semester, she took French II. It was important for me to know whether or not peer pressure played a role. But it was even more vital to partner with an emotionally invested teacher.
Excerpt from Chapter 1 "Teachers and Mentors" - Stories to Heal Your Life So You Can Help Your Child Succeed
Award Winning Author, educator, and artivist.