Utah Virtual Academy
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend an out of state work conference. This was a very exciting professional opportunity for me, but my 7-year old was feeling major anxiety about not having me at home--especially about going to school in the morning without me to walk him into class. Many tears were shed, escalating into panic attacks. I emailed his teacher to warn her that I would be gone for four days, and Sawyer would need some extra support. I could never have anticipated the support Mrs. Golding and the principal provided. It was beyond expectation.
On Monday morning I got the dreaded school voicemail, “You child has an unexcused absence.” I quickly called my sitter to learn that Sawyer was so emotional that morning, he made himself sick and refused to go with his ride to school. What was I supposed to do? I was thousands of miles away from home. I tried a pep talk and bribes and hoped for the best.
Wednesday. When the moment for carpool came, Sawyer wouldn’t go. Ugh. As a mom (and teacher) missing this much school was unacceptable, but I was on the other side of the country. My son’s school was not going to let him slip through the cracks. The Mrs. Golding and the principal showed up at my house to take Sawyer to school.
Thursday morning -- SUCCESS. Sawyer went to school with his carpool and happily walked into the school building on his own. How do I even begin to thank his teacher and principal? I am in awe of the kindness shown to my child. Being a working parent is challenging, but balancing work and family is made easier when your children have incredible teachers like Mrs. Golding, and a principal like Mr. Duncan.
Tabitha Pacheco is a National Board Certified Teacher and a Hope Street Group National Teacher Fellow. She works in the High School Special Education Department at Utah Virtual Academy, and her own children attend Cherry Creek Elementary school.