So this weekend is the Super Bowl. I only know this because Schizz has strict orders to warn me so that I can make other plans. There was a time, years ago, that I tried to enjoy watching football. I would attend the high school games with friends and attempt to follow along
but it seems like an awful lot of crashing and whistles and standing around. Anyway, about ten years ago, after attending one too many Super Bowl parties, I swore off watching football forevermore. I am a New Englander and I want the Pats to win. I just don’t want to watch it.
I may not love football, but do you know what I do love? Underdogs. I have always, always, always loved the underdogs.
I went into public education because of the underdogs. I went into urban education because of the underdogs. I went into urban special education because of the underdogs. I’ve talked about this before, in a few different posts now. I could go on and on about how inequitable our public education system can be, but I’ll spare you.
Instead, I just want to give a shout out to the underdogs, to their parents, and to their teachers. You know that post that circulated a few months back, the one about THAT kid? I love THAT kid, folks. I always have, and I always will. As a school psych, I would read a referral and instantly know whether or not the referred student was THAT kid. I looked forward to working with THAT kid. I know it was a relief for his or her teacher on those days that I removed THAT kid from the class for testing. It was a relief to have the student out of the room for a bit, and I get it. I really do. It’s hard to teach THAT kid, it’s hard to parent THAT kid, but- most of all- it’s hard to be THAT kid. Believe me when I tell you that it was a relief for THAT kid to be out of the classroom, too. I could see it in his eyes. There’s always more to the story, folks. Always. You can’t judge that kid because you don’t know his story. Be kind, always.
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When I decided to stay home with my children, part of me felt like I was abandoning the underdog, that I was leaving THAT kid behind. For six years now, I’ve missed THAT kid and all his underdog friends. I thought I would be returning to them in a couple of years, once my kids were in school full-time. Instead, I ended up suddenly and unexpectedly homeschooling, a decision that was made, in part, because we feared our child was becoming THAT kid. And we couldn’t leave him behind.
It’s a funny thing, to have a blog. You write all this stuff and send it out into cyberland and you don’t know who – if anyone- will read any of it, let alone relate to it. Since starting this silly lil’ blog, I’ve received so many comments, messages, and e-mails from parents and educators who also love the underdogs. I’ve loved connecting with each and every one of these kindred spirits. I’ve come to realize that I’m still rooting for the underdogs, I’m just doing it from a different vantage point. The more things change, the more things stay the same.
So tonight, as we head into Super Bowl weekend, I’d like to thank all my kindred spirits out there in cyberland. Thank you for reading, thank you for sharing your stories with me. Thank you for rooting for the underdogs.
(The subject of underdogs is sorta, in a roundabout way, appropriate for Super Bowl weekend, is it not? Goooooo Pats!!)
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram
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