Starting 4th Grade

Liam was assigned to a dynamic teacher in 4th grade. At first, everything that made her a great teacher seemed to be what hadn’t worked in the past for Liam, however.


She was fun. She was sarcastic in a funny way. She was relaxed. She had a reputation for having her students grow as writers – they wrote a lot that year. They reflected and were creative. Sounds great? I was anxious how Liam would respond to this “free” environment.

We talked on the first day of school. She had never worked with a student with ASD before. Her questions, instead of calming my fears, raised them. She didn’t seem to know much about students like Liam. From experience, her thoughts about solutions to potential issues were the opposite of what Liam would respond to.

Before it began, I was doubtful of how the year was going to turn out.

What I didn’t factor in was her love for learning and for her students.

I didn’t take into account that Liam was ready to be stretched (again), beyond previous experiences.

I neglected to consider that her questions were asked because she wanted to learn and was willing to devote time and attention to discovering Liam’s gifts and needs.

I will write more over the next few weeks about how successful this pairing was in Liam’s 4th grade year.

His teacher is still one of his favorites – someone that he always has a smile and a hug for. It’s actually saying a lot that he remembers that far back!

This year was one of many first.

I had underestimated the both of them.

They gladly and thankfully proved me wrong.

8 thoughts on “Starting 4th Grade

  1. “I had underestimated the both of them.” The simple truth of this statement got me wondering who I’ve underestimated. Than you for sharing this.

  2. Sometimes, in our role as parents who want what is best for our children, we do “underestimate” them. I know i have, but it takes time for us to realize it, and the fact that you, Aileen, reflect on your experiences and share them with others, says a great deal about who you are. Thank you for your thoughts.

  3. Isn’t it great when we are pleasantly proved wrong? I think it is natural to forget that as our children grow the things they need and the way to reach them change. How wonderful for Liam and you that he found someone who could move him forward.

  4. I can hardly imagine how you must have felt. Sometimes being on the inside of the education world isn’t always a blessing. I’m glad your doubts were pushed aside!

  5. We all can see ourselves in these lines: “I had underestimated the both of them.

    They gladly and thankfully proved me wrong.” Great universal truths in this slice — it may have been your specific situation but we have all been in this moment and can learn from your reflection and wisdom. Thank you for sharing with us.

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