Sensitive needs

I’ve become ‘that’ parent that all teachers dislike, the one that always has a view and an opinion, which isn’t such a bad thing in itself, but I’ve crossed the line and have become the one that airs her opinions on a regular basis. I imagine all the teachers in the morning when they see my car pull up running for cover and taking refuge behind a big pile of marking trying their hardest not to make eye contact with me for fear they will be the one that I find and air my views with.

Sometimes things happen during Livvy’s school week that I just can’t not bring up with a teacher, although I’m not sure that this mornings opinion went down as well as normal.

Livvy’s topic at the moment is plants, focusing on how they grow and the wonder that is the life cycle of plants. We all know that a key feature in this process is the Sun (I’m sure you can start to see where I’m heading with this post!).

I’m not so naive as to not understand how the curriculum works and that certain questions have to be asked, and answered at a level appropriate to the class for which it is being delivered to. I think the key word to my ‘opinion’ on how the curriculum is being delivered is sensitive. Sensitive to the needs of all children that the information is being relayed to.

When teaching religion an air of sensitivity is used as to not offend or cause upset to the numerous religions in our country and the vast beliefs of the children that are sat listening to every detail being taught to them. The same with a nuclear family, I’m sure a teacher would not deliver a lesson which favours a ‘traditional’ 2.4 children family, as within our society there is no traditional family format and to suggest that there is would, I’m sure cause upset to many family’s whose children sit within such a lesson.

So back to the sun and it’s role in helping plants to grow, Livvy rarely tells me what she’s done at school, I ask as soon as I pick her up her answer is often the same ‘I can’t remember’. I always question her, how can you not remember when you’ve only just walked out of your lesson?

On Friday I didn’t have to ask, she volunteered the information whilst we sat eating our dinner. ‘Mummy do you know that we can’t live without the sun?’

She continued to tell us about the sun and was describing it in almost a godly like way although the tone in her voice didn’t match the information she was telling us. Before I had a chance to ask her what she thought about the sun and not what she had learnt from school Eddie sprung to life with his own questions, ‘did they teach you that the sun gives off UV?’ He asked in a way that indicated he knew the answer was going to be a no. If Eddie could pick up on Livvy’s sensitive needs why couldn’t her teachers?

When I asked her for her own views she said that she thought she could live without the sun. She knows that the world couldn’t keep turning like it does now without the sun up above but she also knows that the one thing that makes her different to everyone else is the sun, the one thing that causes her to get skin cancer, the one thing that causes her isolation, the one thing that makes her tears fall at night, the one thing that is slowly killing her is the one thing that keeps everything else alive. If that doesn’t deserve some sensitivity no matter what is written in the curriculum then I don’t know what does!


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