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Charter Schools

Thank You for Believing in My Son

This weekend my family will find a moment amid the turkey and the pie, the football and the Minecraft, to acknowledge things we are grateful for. This year, my heart is full to bursting. My younger son, who has Asperger’s, is in a new school. For the first time he is an academic and social rockstar. He’s surrounded by teachers and other adults who see and talk about him as gifted. All of that adult faith has made him a different kid, and me a different parent. Join me in thanking educators who believe our children can beat the odds. Just click to open and edit this tweet in Twitter:   As I wrote yesterday, I wasn’t always so thankful. Last year my bright, beautiful boy was pushed out of his highly regarded middle school. Almost no one looked past his diagnosis to see that with very simple accommodations he’s capable of working well beyond his grade level. His new school is a charter that’s knocking it out of the park with kids who faced belief gaps in their old schools. Some were bullied because they don’t fit gender norms. Some speak little English. Some are in special ed because someone somewhere perceived them as defiant. The school’s design is revolutionary, but the real secret sauce behind its odds-beating success is that the teachers closed any belief gaps before the first student walked through the front door. This year I’m grateful my boy and I had a choice. I’m grateful we had such a great option. And I am grateful for educators who truly believe every child can excel. Join me in giving thanks.  
Photo of Beth Hawkins and her son, taken by her son.
Beth Hawkins is a writer at The 74, and formerly was a writer-in-residence at Education Post. Previously she wrote for Learning Curve, a blog about education for MinnPost, where she also covered a variety of other public policy topics. She loves writing for an audience that’s hungry for context and analysis and willing to indulge her many curiosities. Hawkins is the recipient of numerous ...

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