I cannot reiterate enough how I wish I had paused in that moment, questioned this message, and considered all that would be lost in adopting this disparaging image of families. On top of this, I could have sought more insight on this from seasoned educators in the field at that time. Perhaps they could have shed some light on the many gifts and sheer necessity of building strong connections with families. Instead, I stayed quiet, digested that messaging as my own “truth,” and, upon graduation, took my first steps into the classroom as a full-fledged educator. There I was: bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, with a suit of armor to keep families far-removed. I was full of fear. I continued with this mindset for several years, until one child changed everything.

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