Posted by: Kate | January 30, 2009

Hey, Guess What? Listening Matters!

I feel so much better now.

We just finished the meeting with Emily’s principal, and he did a great job. He – wait for it – listened to us.  He heard our concerns, and was able to validate and acknowledge them without throwing Emily’s teacher under the bus (which, whether or not this teacher is the best one for Emily, I really don’t want to just yank Emily out of the classroom, especially not without a lot more effort to make things work as is, first.  She’s probably doing her best, and with adequate supervision might show all sorts of improvement.  And Emily loves her… we all know how important it is to really love your teachers, especially at 8).

He also spoke up.  He had some clear and tangible ideas for ways we could help Emily, and he was willing to share those without sounding bossy.

In short, he led the meeting just like how you would want a principal to lead a meeting, and I’m very pleased.  We’re still going to arrange for psychological testing (during which I will try my hardest not to actively ooze jealousy all over the psychologist, because I do miss doing assessments), mostly because I feel like if I can understand Emily better, then I can parent her better.

I’m left with much more confidence that this constellation of problems will actually be addressed, instead of snowballing.

And he said Emily is one of the smartest kids in her class, that she’s always been charming and engaging when he has spoken to her, and that he is confident she’ll go on to do great things with her life.  Which is never bad to hear.

Meanwhile, Willem is across town, picking up and disenrolling Jacob.  I ended up speaking to the office manager of the school this morning, because Willem had mentioned to one of the teachers that it was Jacob’s last day, and I thought that news might perhaps travel quickly upstairs.  I was right; by 8:30, the office staff had already gathered the paperwork to let us sign him out.  So, a brief talk with her, acknowledging that financial concerns were part of the reason we were pulling him out but saying that the high rate of turnover is really a bigger problem for me.

Such a weight lifted.  One I didn’t fully recognize that I was carrying.

Before I forget, again: if you have a few prayers, positive thoughts, vibes, spare karma, anything, I would appreciate it if you would send it out to Arizona. Remember little Derek, of the kidney transplant? He’s been having a rough go of things lately, and on Monday they have to do another round of labs. His mom is very worried. Whatever form of positive energy you could muster for them would be much appreciated.



  1. I’m so glad your meeting went well. It makes such a difference when you can leave a meeting feeling that your concerns have really been heard.

  2. I’m glad it all went well. And that you have an administrator who 1) knows what he’s doing and 2) was able to do it well. Pretty rare, I’ve found.

  3. WOW I am so glad things went well!!! and you havea “plan” to address concerns and mkae life more productive for Emily. And any weight lifted off your shoulders is a good thing as well.
    thanks for dropping a note about Derek too 😉

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