Friday, May 22, 2009

This is how it starts

So my boy had STAR testing last week, which is standardized testing that determines the amount of funding a school receives. Finn was very nervous and weepy the night before. I tried explaining that it's a test for the school and he didn't have to worry, but he was determined to wallow for a bit, so I hugged him and left him to it. 

I decided to write him a little note to find in the morning before he went to school. I wrote, "Dear Finn,  Just relax and read directions. You'll do great! Love, Mom and Dad." I should have known better. 

Finn was so happy with his note that he took it to school. And showed his teacher. And said sure, she could read it to the whole second grade class. Why? Why would his teacher read it to the class? That is blood in the water to a bunch of kids who want to prove they aren't babies any more. They laughed. 

Finn cried on the way home. He has a tender heart. As much as I don't want him knocked over by every emotion, I hope he isn't teased into indifference. It is hard for boys. How do I help him be tough and brave and resilient without hardening his heart?