Getting Real

Ready for Reality
A fellow blogger nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger award recently, but I don’t feel beautiful at all. I did realize that there was another nomination I needed to accept before this one:  the Reality Blog award. I’ve been searching for the all-elusive time to do this. However, blogging here has been relegated to the bottom of my list of To Do’s mainly because of my kids.

My son hates school. As a dedicated teacher, I do too. I really can’t argue with him. I’ve told him the value of education until I’ve listened to my words fall letter by letter to the floor. The last straw was when I told him he would behave or never see his Legos again. It was an age-old battle that I needed to win. I needed him to see education the way I used to see it.

But, I underestimated him. He’s smarter than I am. He looked at me, resigned himself to my belief system, and got sick, literally.

He’s been throwing up and now has a fever. Call it coincidence, call it flu season, or call it the sadness of his spirit. I believe it’s his spirit slumping into the sad world of my reality. At the end of the day, he simply looked at me, said his stomach was sick, went to bed then woke up puking.

That’s when everything turned upside down for me. I rewound and slowed the speed forward. I unzipped my skin and took a look around.

A wild second grader danced before me, asking questions, some really smart-ass ones. He laughed at them and sometimes me. He found math interesting when he was allowed to measure things around the classroom but hated sitting still to take a test. He needed to be up discovering the world, finding out why the lizards don’t fall from the ceiling.

A tired mother/teacher walked to her classroom, feeling guilty for leaving her son who she just yelled at. Why couldn’t she just say, “To hell with all of you,” and leave, grab her son and go? All her own students, much older than her son, complained to her, and hated school themselves. She also tried to show them the value of it but was beginning to find it a futile argument. In their eyes, she saw the truth.

The truth is school kills creativity. For all our convoluted words and serious sarcasm, we amount to a bloated, gassy large intestine.

In sixth and seventh grade, I teach about 75 kids just like my son. The rest are sparkly perfect students not unlike my daughter, but they too find it difficult to endure school. When the day nears the end, they’re ready to fly out of their seats and some literally do.

Over the years, my tolerance for shaking pens and pencils, twirling IDs, and random jumps from seats has grown so much that I find myself doing the same thing.

But, when I see my son, like many of my students, get sick over the depressing reality of school, I question my own profession because it feeds the beast. That large, bloated one.

So, I’ll try to blog and read all of your beautiful blogs, but I’ve got to fix a little boy’s view of reality. He’s sleeping right now with a wet cloth mending his fever. We might end up at the doctor’s office first thing in the morning. But, once he’s better physically, I’ll be reminding him that the lizard on the ceiling is his reality and now it’s mine too.

Here are some great blogs to check out while I’m busy mopping up my mess:

There are so many more that I read on a daily basis. If you look around BraveSmartBold posts, you’ll find them.


Published by Lisa Chesser

I'm a writer, editor, award-winning educator, and marketing professional who hopes to rally everyone around one single mantra: Be brave, smart, and bold. As an educator, I love to remind students to dream in the midst of politics gone mad! Thus, I am also a dreamer.

21 thoughts on “Getting Real

  1. Great post, as always! As I former teacher, I feel your pain and your happiness. It’s a tough profession to be in as of late. However, it’s rewarding especially when you get that “one” student that makes you realize you chose correctly. Motherhood can be just as wonderful and as taxing. Hats off to you. You’re doing what you have to do in both areas and your students and children couldn’t be luckier. Thanks for the shout out!



    1. Good to know you were also a teacher. It’s a struggle and I do see the beauty in it because I work really hard to make sure the kids feel successful. It’s just very painful when I see my own child caught up in a system I’m having difficulty accepting. Luckily, I have your blog and many others to carry me through this.


  2. First, congrats on your blogging award ( don’t you just love sparkly awards 🙂
    I have always said teachers are under paid & under appreciated. While trying to teach material (most of which has zero relevance in today’s world), engage the students then you have the lack of parental involvement that reinforces what you do. I’m mighty proud of all you teachers of the world. Please don’t stop trying for if you do, whatever will happen to our children..


  3. I’ve been saying that for the past… what… fifteen years. School kills not only creativity but the will to study. It kills the intellectual side of the brain for the only reason that they created one system of teaching for all. Kids are not the mass, they are individuals and have to be taught the way they understand it, their logic. The schooling system still has a long way to go.
    I have heard lately of a psychologist who has discovered for math a new system of how to teach the child according to the way his brain sees it but I have to get more specific information about it.
    Thanks for bringing up that subject, I’m sure a lot of bloggers can relate to this problem


      1. It just occurred to me, did you ever read the book ” The children on the hill ? ” It’s the story of a exceptionally talented family and the story behind it, it is a fascinating story for people interested in bringing out the best of each child and for those in the education department.
        It is written by Michael Deakin, printed by Quartet books


  4. I hope your little one is feeling better now and that you haven’t shared in his get-out-of-school-viral-pass. It is time for flu shots! Continue to be Brave, Smart and Bold. You are not alone in your professional frustrations. There is a growing consciousness among us in education that our one-size-fits-all education system is growing irrelevant in a rapidly evolving 21st century world, common-core standards notwithstanding. I enjoy the authenticity and humor in your blogs. You would fit right in with our crazy faculty. Have a great week and look forward to the next time you have a chance to write.
    Warmth and Peace


  5. I hope your son gets well! I’m sad to hear this news, but uplifted by your honesty. School is a prison for a lot of kids. They’ve got so much energy and life, but they’re all cooped up. It was always hard for me to keep them inspired. But take heart, miss award-winning teacher 🙂 — it will get better! It always does. I’m a person of a prayerful stripe, so if you don’t mind, I’ll send some hopeful, healing meditations in your direction.


  6. Thank you very much Jill and the rest of your crew at ABREAKFASTSERIAL. If only I could teleport my son to your classroom. Maybe someday…. I hadn’t included you on the list of necessary sites to read but without reading yours, it would be a very boring day.


  7. This is brillant. My daughter is a Teaching Assistant at an inner London school. She says that the system is very hard and the children get bored. She is in Year 6, the one before they go to secondary school.She has a blog and I keep telling her to use it as she has so much perception on things. She tries to make them all feel that they are someone special and that they all have a special place in the world. A lot of them come from poorer familes. But they all love her and call out her name when they pass her in the corridor. Your blog is wonderful. Hope your son finds something he likes at school. My friend and I used to clown about and write our own poems and silly stories abut the teachers and perform them for our friends in the playground. Your son sounds really creative.


  8. My daughter used to love school. But now is bored because they are only teaching to the test and she is not allowed to be curious and explore. I hope you and your son find the right path for him. Thanks for including me on the reading list! (I’ve been off the grid a bit myself lately, so just got to this!)


    1. I’m tired of it. There are so many tests but when you look for a job, very rarely do you take a test unless you filter back into the educational system. Life takes skill and requires a lot more skill them answering multiple choice questions. I hope your daughter goes crazy exploring when school’s out.


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