What follows is a composite of over 2 decades of teaching in public schools; these four students are a blend of many unique tapestries woven together over time and memory; each of of them is also a little piece of myself.
Meet one of my students. She is amazing, a great writer—especially with dialect, reads more than I do, knows every fact there is to fathom about Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, is a wiz on the computer, but prefers to hand write things, burns through Kindle titles faster than anything, volunteers at the library, talks about Rachel’s Challenge…and hides in the bathroom during lunchtime because she doesn’t know how to talk to other kids.
Meet one of my students. He is amazing, a karate and art enthusiast, can throw and sculpt a piece of pottery better than any local artisan, but is pigeon toed and sometimes trips over his own feet. Knows Algebra without actually having to work out the problems because he does them in his head, watches The Big Bang Theoryevery night, is quick to help with a dropped backpack, an errant piece of paper, an unopened door, but is sometimes made fun of because of his tripping…and spent the last semester of school with a “stomach ache” during gym class.
Meet one of my students. She is amazing. Walking before she was 12 months old, an athlete from the time she was two, a shelf full of trophies and medals, private lessons, coaches, training, “select” never “rec” teams. Perfectly styled hair, Miss Me jeans, coordinates everything from her Vera Bradley purse to her pencil case, can text without looking at her phone, is always in the middle of the fun…and spends her morning time before school trying not to chew off her nails because someone told someone else that they thought she was fat.
Meet one of my students. He is amazing. A pleaser, a hard worker, a kid that feels bad when he doesn’t get picked by the captains, a kid that works his tail off to get good grades because they don’t come easy, and can cry when he gets less than an “A” on his homework . A kid who stands up for the underdog, but not himself. A kid that’s worried about his hair, his batting average, and being on a winning team—and has insomnia at night before a game because he suffers from low self-esteem.
Meet one of my students. This kid is amazing. Aces all of the tests without studying, reads voraciously, takes advanced placement math courses, loves all things science, and gets the lead in the school play. Handles maintaining first chair in band, two select sport teams, gets recruited by the older teams, plays “up.” Blends in well with all crowds, understands adult humor, is known by all of the students and teachers (even if not in the same class), wears an “I love my mom” t-shirt. Wants to be the next Michael Jordan or Mary Lou Retton; needs to be challenged to dig deeper and is afraid of staying stagnant—but no one notices because the kid seems so confidant.
I’ve been teaching in large public schools since 1991. These are my children, these are your children. These are America’s children. Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means saying that your kid is fat. I am by no means saying that your kid has a problem. I am by no means saying that your kid has low self-esteem. I am by no means asserting that you recognized your child in the introductions.
I see first-hand what happens to children who are even or slightly different. Trust me; they won’t talk about it with you, the parent. They won’t talk about it with their friends. They won’t say anything to address their concerns out loud. However, THEY WILL CHANGE. Their hearts will shatter if left unaddressed.
The change happens slowly at first, as a parent, you may not even recognize it. They might have few friends, not get invited to parties like they did in kinder, have trouble sleeping at night. They might be moody towards you, teary when you ask them what’s wrong, have headaches, stomach aches, panic attacks. The signs are slight and insidious—and they become good at coping: tips of the ears turning red, eyes watering, hair twirling, nail biting, eye lash pulling, refusal to eat, excessive sleepiness. Sarcastic. Combative. Rocking. Withdrawal. Stuttering. Non-participatory. Excluded. Ostracized. Lost. Victimized. Bullied. Depressed. Abandoned.
And thus, Kids Performance Camp was born. Kids Performance Camp getsthose kids. Kids Performance Camp understandsthose kids. We can help those kids. These are MY kids. These are YOUR kids. These are our kids. These are America’s kids. And, many of them are in crisis. Get them to Kids Performance Camp—we are slightlydifferent, too. Let us help them awaken their pride, bolster their confidence, value their coordination, and celebrate the slightlydifferentness that makes us each strong and beautiful. Let us help your child find their inner athlete.
Bring it with Blessings,