As an anxious mom I have found an ally in an unexpected place. In the time of #teachersareuseless (which I don’t believe for a second) and #menaretrash I thought I would do a quick thank you to a male teacher who has helped us more than I think he realizes.
My son is an anxious little person. He is, knowing his parents quite well, I’m not all that surprised. Shame, they try hey, they try to never let their anxious nature come to the forefront when he is involved and have even enlisted the help of a therapist to help them not mess him up beyond repair. The anxious nature seems to have been inherited though, along with overly pouty lips and a penchant for big words.
You guys know how anxious the whole big school thing had me. Goodness, I’m neurotic! But the school has been great, Aidan loves his class teacher, he thinks she knows everything (which happens to have been my job, but I will step back gracefully) He really likes and respects her and this might be a controversial thing to say, but I was super happy to find out his first big school teacher would be a woman of colour, I just think that it’s important for him to see a black woman as an authority figure from a young age. But that’s a story for another day.
The one thing I did notice was that certain things at school do make him anxious. My son is a perfectionist, he despises not getting things “just so”. He doesn’t always know how to react to new environments and needs things explained to him before he will do something. Meaning you can’t just shout, “Run Aidy” you need to say “Aidan I need you to run to that specific point, turn around and come back, because….”. He is methodical and loves structure but when he feels overwhelmed he will retreat to the fetal position and simply stop interacting with people around him. I know how to handle him and was afraid that no one at school would, A. Know what to do B. Give a damn
But our evening talks have revealed some things.
- I already knew that Aidan was ridiculously anxious at the idea of walking to class alone. As much as he loves school the walking to class makes him clutch my hand and look like he is walking to the gallows. He has an actual, no jokes, fear of getting lost in the school’s corridors (a lack of direction, much like his mom). Recently he doesn’t freak out anymore, he doesn’t burst out into silent sobs, he walks confidently to the coach who (greats him with such enthusiasm for that time of the morning) has devised a buddy system for him. Every morning he waits with him for a classmate to come by, and then pairs them up so they can walk off together, this has done wonders for Aidy’s confidence.
- Aidan tells me that on days he can’t find a buddy the coach escorts him to his class so he doesn’t get too scared.
- On his first day his shoe fell off during play (which threw him for a loop because he was trying to keep up with the other kids) but the coach helped him put his shoe back on and find his friends.
- During a race yesterday Aidan says says he felt overwhelmed and did not know where to go,the coach saw him freeze in the middle of the track and proceeded to run the race along side him.
- Aidan tells me that the coach helps him feel brave.
This might not seem like much to some reading this, but as a mother of a square peg trying to fit into the round hole of schooling, it warms my heart so much (like I have tears in my eyes typing this) that someone would go out of his way like this. He doesn’t single out my son, I’ve seen him encourage, comfort and support little ones. Race, gender, size, overly anxious moms, nothing seems to change his commitment and I just want to say thank you so much to coach (he is the sports coordinator at the school because I’m fancy now and my son attends a school with a sports coordinator) A big thank you to you from me and my son who think’s you are a hero, thanks for being a Peach.