School and life is very hard to me for some reason. I struggle through everything. Nothing comes easy. I’m surprised that I wasn’t held back in Grade School. Many kids who come from the trailer courts tend to get held back. In fact, my younger sisters were held back in the second grade.
They are fraternal twins and also had difficulty with learning. They had to repeat the second grade together. One was doing more poorly than the other. Unfairly, the one who did better was held back to stay together with the lesser performing one. That was our moms decision. She didn’t want to separate them for some reason.
I was already struggling myself, because of the lack of my ability to focus. As a child, I was teeter tottering on the brink of disaster. I believe my mom went on a few more field trips with me as a chaperone during school. She put in the volunteer effort, and in turn that may have looked good to the teachers, which lent to my chances of passing with less scrutiny.
But, my sisters showed the cracks in the family dynamic. My mom and dad were already divorced for 2 or 3 years as my sisters went through the second grade twice. They received less support after the divorce and the teachers started to talk about making the poor girls repeat the same classes again.
What is the teachers perspective on requesting a repeat of the same grade? It is probably not easy to tell the parents that their child is too stupid to move to the next grade. Many times it may not be much of an option to pass them. There may even be times when a kid has to go back to a previous grade for some reason. The teachers are trained to know when is the right time to start talking about repeating the same grade.
I have to wonder if the teachers ever talked with my mom about repeating a grade. My dad was never involved in my schooling. I remember struggling, but couldn’t tell by how much I may have been struggling. I can take guesses though as to how badly I was doing because I struggled and was a low performer through High School. Also, I was a low performer through college as well.
Teachers always talk about doing extra work and talking to them after class. It’s not just about Acing the tests. You do a lot of gritty legwork to get ahead. I think my mom may have done a lot of legwork on my behalf. She was able to quit her job for a few years while married and then became involved in my school activities.
Unfortunately, my mom was a low performer herself. I remember feeling a lot of nervousness around her with all the other kids. She made herself a presence and nice crutch to look for support with. But she seemed very much like a detached crutch. She was there but wasn’t there. It was a very strange dynamic.
One major reason I should have gotten held back in the second grade was because I suffered ear infections and had my tonsils removed. This put me in the hospital during school where they put me through various surgeries. I remember my teachers showing up at the hospital, showing concern for my education. They gave me fish with numbers on them.
At one point during the 4th grade, I was assigned a counselor who had to find out what was wrong with me. I was put in a room with just him and me. We would talk about whatever I wanted to. But because he was an adult and I a kid, we didn’t get very far with anything.
There was a time in 2nd grade where it was assumed I needed glasses. The teacher thought that maybe my vision was bad and that was why my learning seemed a little slower than the other students.. I was forced to wear reading glasses, and I hated them. The teacher forced me to wear the glasses on a few occasions when we read books. I thought the glasses looked stupid with their big frames.
Turns out I don’t need glasses and at 38, I can still pass vision tests.
My diet was not very good throughout my life. I ate a lot of sugar extracts. This frequently left me with a foggy mind. Looking at old pictures of me as a young boy, I could see quite a bulge. I looked surprisingly overweight for my age. But many people still consider obese children as healthy. I don’t get it.
So, why was I not held back? Because I was still performing well enough where I had moments of brilliance that may have given the teachers some confidence not to hold me back. But those brilliant moments were few and far between.