My daughters drive me insane with their ability to lose library books, annoy me with their bickering, irritate me with the clothes covering their bedroom floor, and infuriate me with their complete lack of awareness of other people sometimes.
But mostly, they make me incredibly proud. The first grader is a model kid at school. Her teachers (classroom, art, etc.) believe she could run the classroom and practically let her do it. She’s kind to other kids and loves learning. In preschool I worried she couldn’t accept when her friends couldn’t do things she could do. She’s grown past that now and encourages and supports classmates who are working hard to read or do their math. She’s amazingly able to help without doing for them, a skill that is incredibly useful.
The fifth grader is brave and tenacious. I watched her try ice skating tonight for the first time. Before she got on the ice she was nervous and excited. She was the oldest in her class and she struggled. She fell, she moved slowly, she felt awkward. But she stuck with it. She’ll feel the bruises tomorrow but she still wants to go again Friday night so she can practice. She got up on stage at the talent show when she was a second grader and read a picture book. After watching for more than an hour as kids sang, danced, and played musical instruments. It didn’t slow her down at all that what she wanted to do was unusual at best.
The things that drive me crazy about my girls are things they will outgrow, things that are typical for kids. The things I’m proud of are things I believe they’ll be forever. I am so lucky to be in their orbits.
For months now my older daughter has been wanting to start a blog. She had the title picked out long ago: How WE Feel. It was critical to her that the we be in all caps. I put her off for a while because she, like me, tends to have lots of ideas but not nearly as much follow through.
She felt this site is needed because, as she told me, “There are lots of books and things about teaching and school but they’re always from the teacher’s perspective. Kids need a place to share their thoughts about it.” (I didn’t get into the fact that I’d be thrilled if all those books about teaching and school were actually from teachers. But it did reinforce her point for me.)
Eventually she not only had the title, she had an organization plan and guiding questions for the site. So on a snow day (one of many) we created her site. If you look at the About page you’ll see her rationale, in her words. I was just tech support.
For kids who want to share their thoughts but don’t know where to start, she created some question prompts for different school subjects. Finally, we made a contact form so kids can send their thoughts and we’ll post them.
If you teach or if you are a parent, please share this with the kids in your life. I can’t tell you how excited my daughter would be to find kids sharing their thoughts. Her goal is to give kids a voice.