Can it really be time for school already? I just had this thought when my children voiced the same sentiment. Our family likes summer vacation because of the flexibility it allows. The children do not have homework and they do not have to get to bed early. We can camp by the pond or just go on walks. Yes, summer is certainly a favorite time.
It seems that the last year just ended and now it is time to begin once again. Although I no longer have to prepare for a new class, when August/September rolls around it is time for school.
While I went to kindergarten, my husband's education began with first grade. In those days there were no kindergarten classes around this area. At least we climbed out of the dark ages even offering a full kindergarten session. Hurray!
One year when I taught preschool there was one precocious young man who decided he did not like to come to preschool. His mom delicately informed me that he did not intend to come when the second semester began.
While I agreed it was her right as a parent to withdraw her student, I asked her what she intended to do next year when he asked to be withdrawn from kindergarten. She admitted that she and her husband never considered that. That young man attended for the rest of the term and did not seem upset about it either.
I advocate that parents get acquainted with their children's teachers as soon as possible. It is when teachers and parents work together that education happens at its best. When parents support the teacher there is no end to what can be accomplished.
Most teachers have the best interest of the students at heart. It takes a certain type of person to go into the education field. Although I backed in the door because I could not afford to attend a university away from home, it was what God meant for me to do. There was no chance involved in my becoming an education major. God's hand was on my life the whole time.
The years I spent teaching the children of this community were some of the happiest of my life. I looked forward to going to work each day. I looked forward to taking the educational journey with each and every class no matter what grade I taught.
Every class was different. The needs of the group dictated the methods of instruction. Oh, I covered the same basic things, but I used the methods best suited to that class. I moved at the best pace for the class.
Since I changed grade levels often I worked hard. Each shift of grade meant a lot of work, but I did not mind. I looked at it as a challenge that kept me fresh. For those of you not familiar with my tenure as a teacher, I taught everything from preschool through grade six for an extended period of time. There were things that I liked about each grade level, but my favorite grade to teach was kindergarten. I loved the enthusiasm of the children as they began their educational journey. I loved the fact that I was on the ground floor instructing students in work habits and methods of study.
There was always a love for school within my personality. I loved it as a student as well. My years in school were not boring. I love to learn. I still love to learn. I choose television programs where I learn something. I like the shows that test my skill, too. Some things I have no idea why I remember t, but I am thankful for an excellent memory.
I attended school in a small town. Some of the teachers I had in school taught my mother or at least knew her. Some of the teachers went to the same church that I did. They shopped in the same stores and took part in the same entertainment. We saw each other in and out of school. Oh, how my children disliked it when students ran up to me in some store. They liked it even less when a parent wanted to conference with me in a store aisle.
As I taught year after year the pattern repeated itself. I had the children of former students. That created a different type of respect entirely.
Pray for the safety of the teachers and students as they move back into the school buildings. Today we deal with different factors than we ever had before. Our school doors are locked to keep out those who do not belong there.
Around this area that really hit home when "Bucky Phillips" was at large. The children were not allowed out that day at all. Everyone was on high alert. He killed once, so he would not hesitate to kill again to save his hide. Our quiet country road had law enforcement vehicles every 500 yards. Cars were searched on the way in and the way out. It was anything but business as usual.
Last year the students heard about "Rachel's Challenge"; that was an off-shoot of the Columbine School rampage. Hopefully, faculty and staff made an impression that will carry through. There are so many things to be considered other than the nitty-gritty of what the students learn in class. Our students face exposure to drugs and alcohol. They must have strong personal values and parental supervision not to get involved with those.
Let us get on with the business of education. Educating the next generation is one of the most important things that we do.
Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, PA. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org