Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Back To School

School bells are ringing this week and many of them will welcome students
today for the start of another school year. It’s a time of excitement, especially for those just entering elementary, intermediate or high school.
I remember walking my son Brandon to school on his first day of kindergarten and holding his hand as we entered the classroom. Many little boys and girls were crying and didn’t want to be left alone…some had their arms tightly wrapped around their parents. Meanwhile my son walked to the back of the classroom and told me I could go. I stood outside and a part of me wanted him to call me back but instead he waved me away with a look of almost disgust and embarrassment….it was his way of saying he’d be fine. He’s now 23, has graduated college, works in New York and in two weeks will be moving to an apartment in Jersey City yet I remember that first day of school like it was yesterday.

For all the criticism attached to education it is schools and teachers who mold our children and often that kindergarten teacher is the one who begins steering them in the right direction from the start. Both my children were fortunate enough to have the now retired Ruth Ogle at Beachwood Elementary School and I’ve always been especially impressed with those who taught at the kindergarten level…where do they get all that patience from?

Public Education has its share of critics and there are a fair amount of items to single out. However it also does not get the credit due for providing students of all backgrounds the ability to shine in the classroom, athletic fields, performing arts and other places. Administrators and teachers are faced with more challenges than ever before from overcrowded classrooms to a ridiculous reliance on standardized test scores to measure progress.
The system is far from perfect but I’ve always believed that a student who wants to learn and achieve can do so and parents who support those efforts will usually have the biggest smiles on graduation day.

The school year is here….make it a great one!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for speaking of my mom so highly this morning. I know she enjoyed every minute of her teaching career and loves to hear how all of her "kids" are doing!