Reblogged from anpther site: …….Please share & tag your teacher friends You have adopted children in your classrooms. I was one of them! Now I’m almost 30 and able to express some of ways I was hurt during my school-age years by well-meaning educators. My intention isn’t to shame anyone, but to hopefully open your eyes to some of the situations I was put in. Some were just awkward, some were harmful. I know you love your students & want to do right by them, which is why you’re reading these words.
1. There may be adoptees in your class and you don’t even know it. I had a pretty uncommon last name growing up and attended a small community school corporation. I dreaded the first day of school because, like clockwork, this conversation took place, sometimes multiple times a day once I was old enough to switch classes…Teacher taking attendance: “Morgan ____ – oh, are you ___’s sister? I should have known – you look so much like her/your mom!” Me: Instant cringe! I am not genetically related to my sister! Or my mom! I know that I cannot look like them because we are not actually related.
Now I’m in an awkward position – do I say something and potentially make the teacher feel bad? But moreover…this teacher *seems like a liar to me and someone I can’t trust* because they’re saying something that isn’t true. I don’t look like people who aren’t related to me, but you’re saying I do, and now I remember that I’ve never actually seen anyone who looks like me and I’m spiraling for the rest of the class time.
My anxiety takes over and I have a stomach ache. I wonder if and when I should tell this teacher the truth. When I tell them I’m adopted, it’s always such a big deal and they say a lot more awkward things and it doesn’t seem worth it.
2. Please get rid of family tree assignments! Because…which family?! I feel like a big fat phony faker writing down my adoptive family, because I know it’s not actually where I came from. But I also don’t know where I came from, so I can’t write that down either. And please don’t just make an adjusted lesson for adopted students – because, as previously mentioned, you might not even know who the adoptees are!
Students might also be the children of adoptees! I imagine my own daughter would struggle with such an assignment because she knows my adoption story. If state standards/curriculum require a family tree project, can it be about characters of a novel the class had read, or a historical figure instead?
3. Same goes for genetic traits! Oh, biology class. Please don’t ask me to figure out my parents’ possible blood types based on my own. Or eye color. Reminder after reminder after reminder that I don’t know where I came from, I don’t look the same as my family, and it feels like everyone else here does. These type of assignments can still be done in a more generic way, not with our own personal situations.
4. Baby/childhood photos Depending on the time of their adoption, many kids might not have access to pictures of themselves as a baby or as a child. And please don’t do something stupid like “Well, just draw a picture of yourself instead!” Adoptees already struggle with identity. We don’t know who we are. Now you want me to draw it for you? BIG YIKES, teach.
5. Don’t tell adopted kids they are “chosen” or “special” This is like, the chief complaint of adoptees I know. We don’t want to be special, we want to be normal. Special is pressure. Special is a high standard to live up to. Special is the nightmare for adolescents who just want to fit in with their peers. We also were not chosen – no one lined up 100 potential babies in front of our parents and asked them to choose the one the liked best. I know it comes from a good, well-meaning place. But we’re adopted not because we are special or chosen, but because we are no longer with our biological families. That’s it. We know this. We wish everyone knew this and would be okay with it, instead of trying to put a positive spin on it.
It makes me feel like I’m not allowed to be sad. It makes me feel like my loss doesn’t matter.——————-Teachers, I know it’s already just *so much*. This year has been an entire cluster and dumpster fire and you’ve been pushed to the limits of your professional capabilities and sanity. I admire you all.
Thank you for wanting to love your students well. Thank you for caring enough to keep learning about them. Adopted children grow up and you are a formative part of their upbringing. Thank you for doing the work to be a positive part of their story.#nam2020#naam2020#nationaladoptionmonth#adoptee#adopteevoices#teacherlife#notyourorphan#teachersoftiktok#teachergoals#teachersrock#listentoadoptees#adoption#fostercare#ffy#RedforEdAdoptive FamiliesFoster Care & Adoption#truthislouder ~Morgan Shea Massey