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mother watching kids board school bus

So this has been the year when I have had to face the fact that my daughter might never be “academic.” I always told myself that a “C” grade was okay, as it meant my child was average, and average means, well, normal. However, being an overachiever myself, I have struggled with making that sentiment a reality in my attitudes. The truth is, I don’t want my child to be “average.” I want her to be extraordinary.

This year, during parent and teacher conferences her teacher presented my daughter’s rank in the class. 17 out of 20. Ouch, that stung. First I got angry. Then, I felt embarrassed. I had trouble concentrating through the remainder of the conference. “17 out of 20?” I kept repeating it over and over in my brain. Then a slow but definite dislike for her teacher started to swell within me. “What a horrible thing to show a parent,” I thought. “What kind of a teacher are you?”

Truth is, the problem was mine and not her teacher’s. I was having the issue with my daughter’s ranking. My daughter quite happily goes to school and thinks her teacher is wonderful. If she is aware of her academic struggles, she doesn’t seem to notice. She is certainly not hung up on her class ranking. Should I be?

~Kyleen Stevenson-Braxton