Mom Shares Frustration With Children's School in Powerful Blog Post

PHOTO:Laura Goodman of Richmond, Virginia photographed with her husband Taylor, son Charlie, 11, and daughter Madeline, 8. Courtesy Laura Goodman
Laura Goodman of Richmond, Virginia photographed with her husband Taylor, son Charlie, 11, and daughter Madeline, 8.

A Virginia mom's writings are to be published in a journal after she expressed her honesty about the country's education system in a powerful blog post--drawing both public and media attention.

"It was amazing how many people were able to connect to it--teachers, other parents," Laura Goodman of Richmond, Virginia told ABC News. "I wrote this from a parent's perspective, rather than a teacher's perspective."

Goodman, 38, said she wrote her piece, titled "What Do I Expect From Elementary School? Not This," after noticing her children's lack of enthusiasm when they returned home from school.

The formerly full-time turned part-time educator began venting on her blog, boilsdown.com by sharing what she said, "really goes on" in the classroom.

"We are not a common-core state in Virginia, but if you look at them [the school systems] side by side, they are not that different at all," Goodman said. "I have two vastly different kids. My oldest, Charlie, he's what you would call an academically-strong student. He wants to learn on his own, he craves knowledge, so schools always been [relatively] easy for him, but it can be boring at times.

"On the other side, I have [my daughter] Madeline," she added. "We are going through the process of figuring out if she has a learning disability. She will come home and say, 'I cant keep up. I can't do this work.' As a parent, it breaks my heart and as a teacher, it makes me angry."

Goodman sounded off on her blog, sharing that she sympathizes with both of her children, and their teachers--who she feels are limited in their classroom creativity.

It read, in part:

"I want them [my kids] to have had enough positive experiences, enough moments of engagement, enough creativity and fun built into their day that “good” is the predominant mood descriptor," she wrote in the post. "That is not currently the case. The children that get off of the bus are exhausted. They are frustrated. They are over worked. They are burned out. I feel as if I should make them a weak whiskey on the rocks, hand them their pipe and slippers, and leave them alone for an hour to decompress."

"It takes them a bit of time before they can think of something positive to tell me, and usually it ends up being something that happened during recess or lunch," Goodman continued. "I would blame the teachers for this bleak attitude, but I was one, and I know that the teachers are just as tired, frustrated and overworked. Their teachers are trying to inject as much fun into the day as possible, but are obligated to keep up with deadlines, adhere to the curriculum, and meet the standards. No, this pressure is coming from high above. And it is squishing my children with its weight."

The post brought new attention to Goodman's blog and some of her work will soon be featured in the Illinois Association for Gifted Children's annual journal.

Goodman said she hopes her story inspires school administrations to allow their educators to have more of a say in what they teach.

"I love it when they [my kids] come home and they remember and are excited about something they did at school," she said. "I love it when they have something hands-on and collaborated and I like when they tell me the teacher was excited. That, to me, means my child genuinely learned something today...that sounds like a great day."

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