It Marks the Spot

posted by Momo Fali on October 17, 2011

My nine year old son started attending school when he was two.

For the first year, or so, he went to a county-run preschool for children with developmental disabilities because of his motor and speech delays. It was a good place for him to get daily therapy and socialization, but it wasn’t really the right fit for him.

When he was old enough, we moved him to a local preschool and into a classroom with a teacher/student ratio of 2/9. The teachers were attentive and patient and we kept him there through Pre-K, which, in the end, turned out to be a pretty disastrous school year.

For Kindergarten, we turned to a small, private school where they hired me to work as an aide. If my son ever had any issues, I was right upstairs, and when he moved into first grade I started working in the cafeteria so that I could be there even more.

This year, he is in third grade. I don’t work at the school anymore and, ironically, it is the first time that I have sent him off in the morning without ever-looming worry. I know he will be fine.

What makes this year so different isn’t that he’s doing better academically; he has always done well in that regard. It isn’t because he’s more independent, because that has been a long, slow process that I couldn’t help but see coming. And, it isn’t because he doesn’t choke as often when he eats…though that is pretty awesome.

This year is terrific because his teacher “gets” him.

There is something to be said for understanding that everyone, even children, have different personalities…and boy, does my kid have one! The third grade teacher appreciates my son’s sense of humor. I know this, because almost every time she approaches me to tell me when he’s been up to, she is laughing.

The other day, when she saw me at the school, she did just that.

Apparently, that day, when the class handed in some papers, she saw that my son’s wasn’t labeled with his name.

She noticed before he walked away and said, “Hey, wait a minute. How will I know this is yours if you didn’t put your name on it?”

He took his worksheet back from her and quickly took pencil to paper.

Then he handed it back and said, “Here. Mine’s the one with the X.”


  • Monica

    Fantastic. That kid is priceless, and so is the teacher who gets him. 🙂

  • Liz

    We could totally hang with your kid and vice versa.

  • Varda (SquashedMom)

    I so completely get this. When I talk about how wonderful my son Jacob’s Sp. Ed. school is, I never talk about the teaching philosophy & methodology (which are wonderful, btw). I always gush about how much they love him there. How everyone who works with him lights up and smiles when they say his name. How when it came time to divide the kids into the 2 level 2 classrooms for this school year, his teacher from last year was reported to have said. “I have to have Jakey again, he’s mine!” Made me cry. Still does when I think about it.

  • Paige from Ohio

    That is too Funny!!!! I definitely understand the importance of a good school year. That is “one” reason why I home school my boy. So glad all is going well for him (and you) in this regard. (sigh of relief)
    Have a great day!

  • mrsmouthy

    When I was a teacher, those were my favorite kids. His sense of humor is so adult-funny!

  • Sarah

    Teachers who can be flexible and enjoy the distinct quirks of their kids = priceless.

  • dysfunctional mom

    I just snorted.
    I am so glad he’s having a good year! Great teachers are priceless.

  • Rhea

    It’s worth a pot full of GOLD to have a good teacher. I’m glad you have one this year! And your son is hilarious.

  • Issa

    That last part made me giggle.

    This year my oldest has her perfect match teacher. The one who finally gets her. It’s a big relief.

  • meleah rebeccah

    “This year is terrific because his teacher “gets” him.”

    Now that is awesome. And OH so important. My son was in 4th grade when he finally had a teacher that “got” him.

    And your son marking his paper with an X made me laugh out loud, for real!

  • BusyDad

    Somehow, I know that he’ll be signing documents with an X, even when he’s 40.

  • tracey - justanothermommy

    Way to take us back 4 or 5 generations, kid. That’s awesome.

  • AlisonH

    Now, if his name were Malcolm, that would totally work…

  • AlisonH

    (But of course it totally does anyway!)

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