Seeing the bigger picture
I’ve lived in Brookline, MA most of my life. When I was younger the schools seemed so big to me and there seemed to be room for all those wanting to attend. Pierce School opened it’s new building when I was half way through the fifth grade. The school was like no other around. I was both happy and proud to be a student there. Despite the open classroom design I found a way to focus on all there was to be done.
At the age of 10 I don’t remember their being clicks or having been a part of a click. I didn’t really pay attention to any of that. I had my friends and that was all that mattered to me. I never felt judged or unloved. I never felt like people didn’t have my best interest at heart. Everyone worked hard to make sure all of my academic needs are met. Today, so much has changed. Parents have to fight to make sure that their children get all the services they need and that teachers address whatever issues or concerns that their children have. Parents are fighting to get into any school in Brookline. Those that live in one neighborhood want to send their kids to school in another Brookline neighborhood. People fight for their favorite spots in their favorite schools. The parents form their own clicks and believe me if they don’t want you to be a part of their click, you wont be. Even if you have a helping hand to lend, you are turned away because you are not wanted, because you are not part of their “click”.
So many children are turning in different directions filled with uncertainty. Pressured by overwhelming school work, their desires for friendships while trying to take part in extra curricular activities, but also balancing homework. We’ve all been through it at our own levels, but today is nothing like yesterday. We have children suffering from eating disorders, cutting disorders, and anxiety issues just to name a few. Homework is hours long and often the kids have no adult supervision to help or recommend them. The students are just expected to get the work done. Kids of today have to worry about MCAS to graduate. Technology is also consuming their lives even in the academic sense.
My kids are lucky, I’m there for them when and however they need me to be. Not all families have that ability to give that to their children. I don’t belong to a click, but I will lend a helping hand when and if I’m needed. All I ask for is a little appreciation.
The current task ahead for our community is to figure out were to put a couple of new schools. This is a daunting task. We have seen the good, the bad and the ugly of different people.
The bigger picture has to be realized for all of our children and not a select few. We’ve seen certain behaviors and heard certain things that we never would have expected from those who have done or said them. Some have lost sight of the task at hand.
We all must look at the bigger picture. A continued place of higher learning in a strong, safe, and wholesome environment, where no child is left out because they live in a “ghetto” part of Brookline (if that even exists). All must be welcome even if they are an ELL student who should not be separated out into a standalone system or building.
So I call upon all the parents of all Brookline students to think about the sanity and comfort of our children. Our children work hard to do the best job they can do as students in our schools. They work hard to complete all that is asked of them hoping to please all of us. I call upon the teachers to remember that all students have different ways of learning and that should be respected for their individual strengths and abilities. Together we will make it through what ever ends up happening with our current struggles to find answers of where and how to house the influx of students that have happened upon our bustling town of Brookline.
In the bigger picture, our Brookline family has grown bigger and stronger, but everyone still has a place.
Thanks to all of those that work hard to come up with ideas to resolve the impending dilemma.