What a Difference a Year Makes!

1st day of school

1st day of school – Kindergarten

Last year sucked.

For BR. For Ms. MMK. For me.

But I learned a lesson.

A good teacher makes all the difference.

Here I am a veteran teacher, and it took BR having a horrendous school year for me to learn the value of a teacher.


The problems went beyond the teacher. The administration, for the most part, was of little support or assistance.

Sending BR to school left Ms. MMK and I uncomfortable. He was not being treated right. I don’t mean physically.

His confidence was shaken, his reputation was damaged, and his progress was stunted.

Now BR would not recognize most of this or not at any meaningful level.  However, we saw this happening and did everything possible to work with the school to prevent it. But got nowhere.

And then the school year ended.

And a new one began.

It was a new year in many ways. Of course, it was a new grade (4th), but it was also a new school in a new school district.

We prepared BR in the best way we could. And we had outside assistance.

And we prayed.

We prayed that he would get back on track. We prayed that the teachers would be caring. We prayed that the administration would be supportive. We prayed that our bright, inquisitive, and playful child would once again flourish at school.

Wednesday was parent teacher conferences. Ms. MMK had the day noted on the calendar for months. She had met with the teachers and other school personnel on a couple of occasions, but this would be the first in-depth meeting in a couple of months.

We were anxious but hopeful. After all, we had not gotten the dreaded calls home. Plus, BR seemed different – happier, calmer, and content to go to school.

I joined the conference at 2:15 (I had to call in from work) – just a few minutes after it began. While I would have preferred to have been there, the message came through loud and clear.

BR was doing fantastic. He had bumps in the beginning, and he is not perfect now.  I wouldn’t believe it if they had said he was.

They noted that BR has fallen in line. He assists other students. He is doing well socially. He is comfortable sharing. He is learning.

One teacher after another showered him with praises.

While Ms. MMK and I were in separate locations, we felt the exact same way

Ms. MMK thanked the teachers multiple times. She said, “this is the best parent teacher conference I’ve ever been to.”  She was on the verge of tears – of happiness.

I was in an empty classroom and smiling widely. All I wanted to do was hug BR.

We know that BR has challenges and is not an easy child. We know he needs particular kind of teachers.

Now, we know that he can be a great student. More importantly, he knows that too.

Thank you to his teachers and all those who assist and work in conjunction with them.

What a difference a year makes!!!

32 thoughts on “What a Difference a Year Makes!

  1. I cant begin to tell you how happy R & I were when we heard that you got the good report. Even when I read the post I was tearing on the good news. I know what you guys go through and I dont have to tell you that R & I know what it means when your kids are hurting, and you feel like there is no where to turn. I am so happy for B & S. Tell them to keep up th e good work. Tell them that the Safiers are so proud of them

  2. The teachers really can make a difference, can’t they? We had one particularly rough year with one of our sons. We know part of it was on him, but when he did so much better the following year, we knew there was a teacher factor involved, too. Guess it’s good preparation for real life.

    • I suppose it is preparation for real life. What bothered us as much as the teacher being so poor is the lack of support from the administration.

  3. That’s so great to hear that you got this worked out and BR is doing much better in school! I know how hard this has been on you both and how concerned you were. Sounds like you made the right choice with this school, it made quite a difference 🙂

    • It really, really has!
      I remember you telling a similar happy ending regarding your nephew. I can only hope it will continue for both BR and your nephew.

      • My nephew has been doing so well, we found out that he’s actually ‘smarter’ than his sisters. His test scores have gotten better, his attitude and he likes school now. My sister went through the same thing as you guys did and when she finally found a place for him, it’s changed my nephew completely. Hope the same happens for BR 🙂

        • That’s awesome!!!!!
          We always knew BR was smart and his grades show it but now his personality is coming out in school and they are learning about his interests (ex. presidents, baseball, etc.)

  4. Oh my goodness! I’m so very happy to hear this! I know how heavily the decision weighed on you and how nervous you were, I’m just so very glad that it seems to be working out and your decision is being reinforced as the right one for BR! I don’t have the words to tell you how happy I am, for all of you!

  5. So true and great piece. I’m still affected by my 3rd grade teacher who called me a failure to my face. It took me a couple of years and a great teacher to regain some confidence, but then I had I that same teacher AGAIN and I was done for. I’ve never fully recovered and spent the rest of my school life w/ mostly terrible teachers. I wonder what my psychological life is like had I never had that 3rd grade teacher.

    • Jerks. I try really hard to keep this in mind when I am in my role as teacher. I’d be lying if I told you I was always positive and happy. However, I do try and see my students as people and speak to them as such.
      Thanks for the comment and glad you liked it.

  6. That is such great news – I’m so pleased for you and your family 🙂 My brother used to struggle through school until he got a teacher who understood him and it made all the difference in the world to his confidence and his attitude towards school.

  7. YAY!! What fantastic news!! I can imagine how relieved you and Mrs. MMK were after the conference. Good job to BR for being flexible and changing and growing within his new environment.

    • Yes, we were so happy to hear it and have it. It was such a relief and even more. To see your child utilize what he has in a positive way is a wonderful thing.

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