Guest blogger and alumni parent Julie Wilson shares her and her son's Springer story.
“Lazy, Crazy and Stupid”
These three words were repeated constantly by my son’s kindergarten and first grade teachers. They complained that he did not attend to his work, he did not follow directions, he did not understand instructions, etc. He was labeled the “bad kid.” We were the parents in denial when we argued that our son,Sam, was, in fact, anything but lazy, crazy or stupid.
In fairness, I had some warning. HIs pre-school teachers, who appreciated his strengths but also saw his issues with attention and motor delay, cautioned me that I needed to find the right school for him. With my attention to detail, I went to about 20 schools (public, private, parochial) and interviewed teachers and principals and attended classes. Even after all of that, I picked a school (and moved my family) so that my son could go to a school that did not understand him and did not meet his needs. The bright side was that the school was so terrible it got us to Springer sooner rather than later.
Springer was the right choice for my son. The teachers, staff and students were amazing and understood my child. My son still had attention issues and motor delay but Springer saw that he was smart and motivated to learn.
I remember our first play date about two weeks after the start of school. We picked up a new friend at Springer and were driving him back to our house. My daughter, who was a year younger than my son, was also in the car with the two boys. The new friend mentioned riding bikes when my daughter said that her brother could not ride a bike. The new friend did not miss a beat and, before I could intervene, said that it did not matter whether her brother could ride a bike or not because he was the smartest kid in their class and was the best reader and best math student. In fact, he was affectionately nicknamed “Mr. Dictionary.” These were what I soon came to call “Springer moments.”
About one month after the start of school, I met my son for lunch at school. Making friends was an issue for my son so we sat by ourselves although surrounded by everyone else in the lunchroom. Even though my son had only known these kids for a short time, they had already figured out that he was knowledgeable about sports and called out random sports questions for Sam to answer. I was glad to see that the other kids had figured out Sam’s strengths and knew that this would be a great way for him to make friends - - another “Springer moment!”
There were many more Springer moments over the four years that he was at Springer. He graduated in 1999 and my family has stayed involved with Springer ever since. We are grateful for everything that Springer did to help our son. He has his college degree and MBA and we know that without Springer that would not have happened. Thank you, Springer for agreeing that Sam is not lazy, crazy or stupid!