Saturday, December 12, 2015

What is Your Definition of Responsibility?

James is in the 6th grade this year.  He is without an aide.  He made the high honor roll first term.  He has a very strong team.  We all know that the hidden team behind our kids are the heroes that often go unrewarded. As James succeeds, he gets public recognition for a job well done and those of us who are in the rafters negotiating the infinite strings get the satisfaction. He often doesn't know how much is being done around him to make it possible to do as well as he is doing in the mainstream.  The school that James is going to is a charter school and the motto is, "A personalized education where success is the ONLY option."  Every student gets the education they need to succeed.  What a beautiful thing!
Well, yesterday I was able to witness it again.  James was up for another award.  This time a character award for one of the school's pillars of character.  November's pillar was "Responsibility".  His teacher had let us know, and I was thrilled, because the last time I remember him getting a character award was in Kindergarten. All kids in Kindergarten get a character award. He finally got his in the last month of the year. He had finally stopped throwing chairs so I guess they felt he was ready.  Anyway... back to yesterday. When I think of responsibility, I think of the classic definition: "the state of fact of being responsible, answerable, or accountable for something within one's power, control or management." ( When I think of James, I don't necessarily see those traits in the forefront of his actions. This is a kid who forgets to bring things home, doesn't write things down so they get forgotten when asked about, forgets to pass in work, ... As his mum, I could certainly go on.  He is an amazing kid but I'm the one at home worrying about the three missed assignments in Science and one in English.
His 6th grade teacher had the wisdom to see through all of the muck to find the glimmer of James that shines every day in her class.  She doesn't need him to be like all the other kids. Let's face it, he isn't, but that is why I searched for a school that allows the kids to get a "personalized education where success is the ONLY option."  James succeeded at being responsible to the best of his personal ability!  Here is what she had to say on the occasion, "and this last student, really, really, really wanted to get the responsibility award. He has been working hard every day. Sometimes I have to remind him a few times but he's improving and this is a day to day activity for James..."

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