I rarely have to call on the ‘big guns’ to handle my battles, but I’m glad that when the occasion arises, my Fisherman’s got my back.
The trouble I am referring to (this week, anyway) comes in the form of a twinkly eyed, curly headed, 2 1/2 feet tall package of dy-no-mite.
Many, many days of homeschooling these kids and I have had FUN! We’ve also had our share of difficult, trying days. And, let’s face it, some days that I randomly call a ‘parent-teacher conference’ (ok, I walk out talking to myself) and put them all in front of an ‘educational movie’.
Although we don’t have big classrooms and school assemblies, or a football team… we do utilitze the idea of a ‘Teacher’ (me) and ‘The Principal’ (Captain Chris). The kids know that every few weeks I show a selection of their work to their Daddy/Principal. And yes, I use that as motivation to get ‘nicest handwriting’ and ‘best efforts’.
This week, I was exhausted by trying every tactic in the book to get my littlest guy to give me his best work…. or for that matter anything that even seemed like work. Instead, I was getting: 1. disco dancing 2. hiding under the stairs 3. pretending to be an out of water jelly fish (flopping deadlike over the school table) 4. an amnesia portrayal that included ‘forgetting’ the alphabet completely and 5. answering math questions with random, unrelated Spanish words.
Needless to say, a visit to the Principal was in order. And Chris did a great job. We all sat down and Chris gave a well thought out, heart felt explantion to Micah on the virtues of ‘doing his best work.’ He talked about the reasons it was important, touched on the good feeling of satisfication in a job well done and how important it is to be honest with yourself in your own self evaluation, and to not allow yourself to be convinced that ‘just doing OK’ is actually ‘doing your best‘. He talked over the consequences of not working hard at school and of not showing your teacher respect. Micah listened. He nodded a few times, sitting quietly (who knew he was able?) and even said ‘OK, daddy’ and ‘Yes, daddy’ a few times. I was pretty sure he even looked a little remorseful for all the flack he’d given me lately.
When my husband feels strongly about something, he can be quite an orator. He’s a great Commercial Fisherman ~ but I believe he could pull off some sort of public speaker quite easily. He has a gift for inspiring and motivating that I am quite impressed with. This particular discussion left me with the desire to be a better teacher, and inspired to strive more for showing the kids that I am also ‘doing my best work’!
We ended with hugs all around. Then, Chris asked Micah a simple question.
Chris: Micah, when Momma has school work for you this week what are you going to do?
Micah: (blank stare)
Chris: (trying to narrow down the choices) OK, when you do your school work you are going to…..?
Micah: (blank stare) Ummmmm…. (squirming a bit)
Chris: Micah, you are going to do your……?
Micah: Uhhhhhhh….. CAPITAL LETTERS!!!! ….(noting the let down on our faces)…. and, um…. but, NOT while I’m dancing!!
I think the Teacher and the Principal might need a night out for ‘student evaluations’…. at a place that serves really good Margaritas.