Ms. Monaghan's Message - May 24
Summer Edition #1
School Clean Up Day - June 9
Use the link below to sign up to help.
St. Patrick Color Run - June 30, 2019
Don't miss out on this fun filled opportunity for the whole family!
Breaking Through the Cocoon
After many hours, it seemed that the butterfly stopped trying as there was no progress. The man thought he could help the butterfly by cutting the cocoon with a knife to make it easier for the the butterfly to escape. Carefully, he cut the cocoon until the opening was so grand that the butterfly could escape with no challenge. When the butterfly emerged, however, his wings were shriveled and his tiny body was withered. Although the man thought he was easing the burden for this butterfly, he had inadvertently taken away the natural progression needed to give the butterfly enough time to become fully grown and strong."
Each year, we struggle with our efforts to maintain academic integrity while enforcing and teaching student responsibility and accountability. We set deadlines and due dates that go unnoticed, regardless of how many times they are communicated. We find ourselves chasing students down to get late or missing work, pleading with students to complete test reviews, or to work one on one with a teacher to help understand material for a test. While at the same time, balancing emails and phone calls from parents who are frustrated when students lose points for a late or missing assignment or are scrambling to finish last minute projects that they didn't know about.
As a mother of four, I play an active role in my children's education, but they always know that school is THEIR responsibility, not mine. I will provide them with the supplies they need to stay organized, the materials they need to complete projects, or the study time they need to prepare. I will ask about their school work, show an interest in what they are learning, and help them with homework. I will communicate with the teacher, show up to conferences, stand up for my child if I feel he's treated unfairly. I will do all of these things, because I'm their mom, and it's my job to show them that education is a priority. But never, ever will I justify or excuse any of them having a missing assignment, missing a deadline or due date, or failing a test. Why? Because my job is to support their efforts. Their job is to do the work.
Just like the man whose good intentions to help the butterfly actually hurt him, as parents we walk a very fine line between helping and hurting our kids. We want to help our kids. We want to be their champion. We want them to be successful. We don't want to see them suffer or fail. We jump to their defense when they come home telling us their version of a story in which they didn't come out on top. We email teachers, we get angry, we fight for our kids...sometimes without really knowing all the information. I've learned that lesson the hard and embarrassing way.
The reality is, sometimes, kids forget deadlines. Sometimes, they forget to study for tests. Sometimes, they don't finish a project on time. Not because the teacher didn't give them enough notice. Not because the assignment was too hard. Not because they were unclear about the expectations. Sometimes, kids screw up because they are KIDS and part of the natural progression of life is screwing up and learning lessons that make you realize not to screw up again. Occasionally, it takes making the same mistake multiple times before the lesson is learned, but that's part of life, too.
When we jump in and rescue them from their normal mistakes, we clip their wings. We take away the learning experience and the natural progression of life. This progression is meant to teach them the importance of deadlines, due dates, responsibility, and accountability that they will need to one day become successful and productive members of society. Without learning these tough lessons at a young age, where the consequences aren't extreme, they won't know how to handle failures when they get into situations where the consequences could be life altering. They won't understand the importance of meeting deadlines in college, or at work, or when it comes time to pay the mortgage or the light bill.
The students at St. Patrick School are loved. Each and every one of us loves your child as if he/she is our own. We WANT to see him/her be successful. We are excited when they shine, we live for "light bulb" moments, and celebrate when our students succeed. While we may not be perfect, our desire for your child to find success is never waining.We create standards and deadlines for our students as a means of helping them learn these important life skills in a safe, controlled environment. We want our students to be accountable here, where they are protected and loved, so that when they are faced with bigger choices to make, they have the experience needed to make the right ones.
It is my promise to you that we will do everything in our power to help your child be successful. We will teach them, guide them, cheer them along. With your help, we can instill the importance of responsibility and accountability, perseverance and determination. We can show them that their education is important, deadlines are important, and hard work is important. Most of all, we can show them that in order to emerge from their cocoon with strength and grace, they must take the time, learn the life lessons, and find a way to do it on their own.