Fourth Grade and Still So Much to Learn
It is the last day of summer. Not according to the Farmer’s Almanac, but by a declaration by all parents in “S’s” school district. Tomorrow I send her off with a new outfit, and hopefully a planted and somewhat fake smile. She is upset that she did not get the teacher that the entire fourth grade wanted and to really make matters worse, is seemingly separated from everyone that she considers a friend. However, she will be adorned by wolves which she is passionate about with an Amazon ordered backpack and lunch carrier, but it is not masking her disappointment in “being in the wrong class with the wrong students.” And what am I doing about it, -- Absolutely Nothing with the exception of a dose of reality statements that basically spell, get over it, get on with it and get better for it! I am watching the news regarding my fellow Texans displaced from their homes and sinking within the muck of dirt, tree branches, trash and contaminated water and this is her outcry for the day. Logically speaking, I am delighted by this and worried at the same time. I am thankful that she has the kind of life that so little a problem becomes an actual issue, but am concerned that entitlement has reared its ugly head. Many articles have been written about the upcoming generation with few positive highlights written for this age group. I read traits such as crave attention, sheltered, overconfident, group oriented and pressured, and I realize that these are pretty much the direct opposite of what I am trying to teach. I am trying to shape a child who will share personal strengths to create a better team, be willing to listen as well as speak, realize her limits, but accentuate her strengths, be aware and empathetic toward the perils of others, accept disappointment with a solution oriented outlook and view pressure as motivational. It is just one more reminder that I am old schooled and an old parent. Tomorrow I share “S” with a much younger adult who may or not share my same vision. Fourth grade is filled with sass, a quest for independence and a lot of questioning, so I know that both her teacher and I brace for the onslaught of push and pull behavior. For today, I emphasize that not having the choice of classrooms is not the same as having to seek shelter from the loss of one’s home. She is reasonable and understanding. I am ready!
Garden Ridge, Texas