I’ll never forget the day when my 10 year old came home and said, “I’m stressed out.” At first I wondered if he actually understood what that meant. Then I watched and listened as he took all of his projects out of his backpack and displayed them on the dining room table. They were all due on the same day, he explained. And that wasn’t all. He then showed me a list of his upcoming tests and quizzes all scheduled within the same week. The same week of the due date of his projects, that is. I started to feel like he worked in my office. Where was play in all of this?
As a pro-active mom, I made an appointment to meet with his teacher and asked her what to make of it. I could see that she was stressed out herself. The load of work she had to manage was unsurmountable. She had deadlines to meet along with state regulations and national school status to maintain. To be clear. I loved this school and truly admired this teacher.
What I discovered was, that even though it was only fifth grade, there were multiple teachers teaching the same group of children. This was a fairly new concept at the time, and their communication wasn’t quite in alignment. For instance, she hadn’t realized that the science project was due on the same day that the English project was due and that there would be a Math test that very morning. Oh bother!
Who is at fault? I don’t like to play the blame game. So maybe another question to ask is, how do we manage this? For our children?
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Alana writes her monthly column 'Mind, Body, Spirt' for RochesterWomanOnline focusing on the balance of all 3 in a creative manner, filled with inspiration.