3 Things My Son’s Teacher Did Right.

Author of 4 books, podcaster, parent trainer, wife and mother.

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Disclaimer: I believe that my son’s teacher does an abundance of things right! But there's a big of a back story you need to know about!

My son is a pretty typical 7 year old. He attends a typical elementary school in an upper middle class suburban neighborhood. He is funny, kind, intelligent and cute. He is also well behaved and conscientious. He is one of my only children to escape the effects of drug and alcohol exposure before birth. He is reliable and responsible, most of the time. The hidden part of his character is his frightening past. Bouncing from home to home for the first two years of his life caused him to acquire some inappropriate coping mechanisms. One of the things he struggles with the most is imitating the inappropriate behaviors of others.These defensive and somewhat manipulative behaviors have to be stopped immediately and redirected so that my son can thrive in all types of settings.

As the mom of 8 children from difficult places, I have struggled with inappropriate responses by others toward my special needs children. Here is what this teacher did right.

I was mindlessly wandering through the isles of Best Buy when the phone call came in. I might add that I hate all electronic stores with a passion. I feel like they suck the oxygen out of the air. I had come in for a new landline phone and now my brain was barely working. My purse began to shake and sing with the sound that every mother fears is bad news. I dug my phone out while I motioned for my daughter to tear herself away from a display of mini iPads. One look at the caller id confirmed the truth…it was the elementary school.

As I answered the phone I escaped the confines of the electronics store and gulped the oxygen that had been withheld from my lungs. My brain began working again. It was my 2nd graders’ teacher. He started the conversation cautiously. I allowed him to talk. My end of the conversation consisted of a lot of “I see” and “I understand.” The teacher was describing my son rolling on the floor, smirking at authority, elbowing fellow classmates, falling out of his chair and disrespecting staff and other students during the first week of school.

The pinnacle of this embarrassing story was when the teacher found out that my son had been dumping his home packed lunch and receiving a 2nd lunch at no charge from a sweet lunch lady who pitied him. He explained that he had already called my son’s former 1st grade teacher to see how he might best work with my son. He then opened the door to hear my thoughts.

To say the least, I was impressed. In the past we have struggled with adults who react to our children out of pity or an assumption that they know the whole story. We have had Sunday School teachers afraid to tattle on the preacher’s kid. Coaches who balk at the idea that we would make our child skip a game because of behavior. Teachers who attribute an unusual behavior to poor parenting.

My son’s teacher was doing what I believe to be the most important thing. Communicating! I was able to share a little about my son’s past. We were able to talk about how these inappropriate coping mechanisms were harming my son’s progress. I was able to share that my son does not have any unusual sensory needs and should never be rolling on the floor or falling out of his chair. We were able to compare notes with last year’s teacher and devise a plan to help my son choose appropriate behavior.

I promised 3 things, so here they are:

  1. Communication
  2. Communication
  3. Communication

What are some ways your child’s teachers, coaches or instructors have supported your parenting?


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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.