Slice of Life- Day 26
Today, my 6th grade son had a phone call from his math teacher and a Zoom meeting with his ELA class and teacher. His face for both was priceless! He has always been more of an introvert and he has not been one to really feel comfortable talking to adults. This definitely forced him out of his comfort zone.
When his math teacher called, I put him on speaker phone, hoping it wouldn’t be as awkward for her. He didn’t say much, but was polite, however I chatted with her more than he did. When we hung up the phone, he couldn’t believe she called and told me that he thought it was “creepy”…..I told him that she misses her students, and that she just wanted to hear his voice, to make sure he was ok. Again, I got the look.
Later, he had a Zoom meeting with his ELA teacher and his class. He has seen me use Zoom before for a class I took last year and for some meetings I have had this week. He asked me if he had to do this, my answer, a simple “Yes.” He pouted around here like a 3 year old. When it came time for him to join the meeting, he sat by the window so no one could really see his face, he muted the microphone, and he didn’t say anything. Eventually he moved to the couch, turned off the camera, and played with the dog while he was “listening.” The teacher focused on class expectations and work that she would be posting to complete. There was not an opportunity for fun conversation with friends, this meeting was all business. When the meeting was winding down, she asked if anyone had questions. Jax flung his body onto the couch and let out a loud groan. I started laughing as the same girl asked 5 or 6 questions. He just wanted this all to end, and the questions just kept coming. I think we can all relate. Finally, the meeting ended and he was allowed to “leave the meeting.” His first question….”Do I have to do that again. My response, “If your teacher organizes one, and you are invited, then yes.” More groaning and eye rolling followed.
As teachers, we are so excited to “see” our kids and connect with them online, to talk with them, or connect with them on other platforms. However, today, I was able to see this from my son’s perspective. For him, this experience was uncomfortable and unwanted. My son is very polite, always compliant, his teachers love him, but the questions, the struggles, the silliness, is all saved for home. I am encouraging him to keep stepping out of his comfort zone, because for as much as I want to be the person who will always help him, that is not going to be possible. I want him to rely on his teachers, his coaches, and other adults that he trusts. I want him to ask questions when he doesn’t understand and ask for help when he is struggling. He needs to know that there are things in life that we find uncomfortable, but we still have to do them if we want to grow.
So yes, he will need to talk to his teacher when she calls him. Yes, he will need to join Zoom meetings if he is asked to. I am not here to make life easier for him by allowing him to get out of things. I am here to make life easier by helping him when things are uncomfortable, uncertain, and even unwanted. Whether he likes it or not, that is how I will help him grow.