By Michelle Gethers-Clark and Aimee Picon, mothers of Noble Academy students
Getting the answer has a way of making us feel good. However, before the answer can be appreciated, the question or problem must be clear. Have you ever thought you had the wrong answer? Was the answer wrong or was there a lack of clarity about the question?
People search for the answer in a variety of ways – common approaches include research, advice from friends, professional services, internet searches, asking questions, observation, referrals, and prayer. As most parents think about educational options and answers for children, there are complex questions before the answer becomes apparent? Unfortunately, we may assume we know the answer and never ask the question until a problem surfaces.My husband and I had done everything to prepare our daughter for school. Great preschools, tutoring, flashcards, exposure to the arts, vacations, play dates, reading aloud, and picking an elementary school of excellence. However, the answer was not present.
We had to regroup and ask some questions. The first question to find the answer for academic success for my daughter is “How does Sophia learn?” The second question is “What resources are available to match her unique needs?”
The facts were clear in our journey to find the answer. Sophia was not learning in her public school classroom. The search for the answer took us to two psychologists, one physician, two principals, about 20 parents, two tutors, five teachers, one speech therapist, six months of Kumon, and one admissions director. Each of these resources provided a piece of the answer. We enrolled in 3rd grade at Noble Academy in the Fall of 2011. I cried in the hallway as I watched her cling to the teacher surrounded by unfamiliar faces. I was the first person in carpool to rescue her from the answer. She came smiling and bouncing to the car to proclaim “I made friends and I like school”. The answer made me feel good.
The tricky thing about the answer is that it changes over time. Take time to formulate the new questions that arise during the educational experience of your child and seek the advice of others. Asking the right questions and being involved in your child’s educational experience is always The Answer. ~ Michelle Gethers-Clark, mom of 4th grader
The funny thing about change, is that most people fear it, but it is a necessary part of life. We grow, take on different challenges, and somehow find our true purpose.
My son’s introduction to public school was difficult. Despite doing all the right things, the system that I had supported and worked for in previous years had failed my child. He was not set up for success, so we had to make a change. A different public school had the services my child so desperately needed along with a special education teacher worth her weight in gold. She was amazing, but in many ways her hands were tied. She was tethered to the two days in May that measured not only the students’ worth, but her own. I was reminded of the Greek Mythological figure Sisyphus, forever pushing a boulder up a hill only to have it roll back down.
Three years ago I stepped through the doors of Noble Academy as a new employee. I was excited about this new adventure and was looking forward to a professional change in my life. I had no idea that this new experience would change my whole perspective on the education of my own child. I watched as the teachers worked tirelessly to meet the needs of each individual student. I rejoiced in the willingness of each teacher to change a lesson plan, a test, or a teaching strategy on a moment’s notice if it was in the best interest of the students. I reveled in the mission and the support of the administration in doing the right thing by each and every student. My belief that the ‘test’ is in fact NOT the child was widely supported.
Although my child has always passed his big tests and has had many dedicated teachers along the way, this change in my life made me realize how much more he could have: the ability to self advocate, the techniques to organize himself, the actual keys to his own personal success!
This fall, my child will make the change. He will become a Noble Academy student. I will let go of some of my angst. I will step back, and I will relax knowing that he is in a place where it is okay to make mistakes. Where I know that his whole self will be nurtured. Not because I have to intervene, but because it is the mission of every educator on campus to do so. Sometimes the best things in life come from change…~ Aimee Picon, mom of rising 6th grader and Assistant Head of Lower Division
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3310 Horse Pen Creek Road
Greensboro, NC 27410