Dear Future Self,
Hello there! Do you still remember when you had crazy curly hair, drove an adorable Focus, and were making an inordinate amount of rice noodle dinners? Anyway, that's the time frame we're talking about from here.
This is also roughly the end of your third year teaching in the States. You just got your SOL test results back and they were pretty good. Some of the classes even earned fun prizes! Here's where I want you to take note....
If you ever feel like, as a parent, you have the right to undermine a teacher and the overall school test results by having your sweet, little spawn not take the SOL then you darn well better be ready to deal with the consequences. Especially if your child is sort of prickish (which, if a teacher or series of other adults tell you, you'd do well to believe) and has been boasting about how he doesn't have to take the tests to anyone and everyone who will listen. When the teacher says they don't get to enjoy the class prize, suck it up and realize you did something super stupid.
That's right, Future Self, as a parent you will have the right to do a LOT of things. However, they will NOT all be in the best interest of your children. Think things through. Recognize potential consequences. Forgive yourself if you miss one or two and make a mistake, but don't make the same mistake twice.
Your kid(s) are resilient. They are strong. They are in some (many?) ways like you and RJ. They will survive some stress, disappointment, or other unpleasant events. Be there for them. Understand when they go to another reasonable adult instead of you (they are teenagers). Try desperately to not under or over estimate them.
You're probably doing just fine; but a little reminder from Current Me is sitting here waiting just in case. Good luck. I have no idea how splendid or rough it is for you right now, but don't forget you've always wanted to change the world and revolutionize education. Oh, and make more rice noodles. So good. :)
Love always, (2014) Heather