Celebrating Graduates Everywhere…

my youngest son, Brad, in 2003 before h/s graduation

It’s high school graduation weekend in our little community.  The culmination of fourteen years of schooling for most of our children.  Thank goodness, the last of my own children graduated seven years ago, but  as a former employee of our school system, this time of the year is always special to me.  Each year when the newspaper prints the pictures of our graduating seniors, I scrutinize every one of them looking for names and faces of former first-grade students. 

In my early years of working in first-grade, my teacher and I had a lot of under-achieving/problem students in our class.  We’d have about two or three top performing students,   maybe six average students, and about ten to twelve under-achievers.  We had our work cut out for us!  The teacher, Mrs.”T”,  was a strong disciplinarian, and it was a good thing.  She spent half of her time teaching, and the other half trying to keep order in the classroom.   Every year when I look at the graduating class, I usually only count five or six of our former students. This year I only counted four former students among the graduates.   Of those four students, one was an honor graduate of merit.

I can’t help but wonder what in the world became of the rest of our former class.  Nineteen or twenty children in first-grade, four of them make it to graduation–that’s three-fourths of the class unaccounted for!  Did they move away? Did they quit school and get married?  Every now and then I’ll see one of our former students on the front page of the newspaper–after they’ve been busted for a crime.  Those are the former students that kept us busy keeping order in the classroom!  It appears that they never changed their behavior. 

As a former educational assistant, I take great pride in the accomplishments of former students.  It makes me feel good to know that my hard work of teaching and laying the foundation for future learning paid off.  It was worth all of the hours spent listening to a child read aloud, or reinforcing a newly learned math skill.  All of those sight word and math games that I invented were successful after all!   

When I am at a high school graduation, you can bet that my heart is every bit as proud of my former students as it was of my own children when they walked across that stage to receive their diploma.  I’m especially proud of the average and below average students who have to work a little harder for what they achieve. 

As the parent of one “good solid average” student, and two “gifted” ones, I can tell you that my average one worked at least twice as hard for her accomplishments as her brothers did for theirs!  There should be some kind of scholastic recognition for this, in my opinion.  It’s one of those areas where life just isn’t fair. 

I’ll close in saying “Congratulations, high school graduates, everywhere.  I applaud you for your hard work and perseverance.  Best wishes to you, now and in your future endeavors.  I’m so happy that you made it.”

Published in: on May 21, 2010 at 7:27 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I agree with you. Being average these days seems to be a bad thing. During the school year a couple of the television stations have a weekly episode that spotlights one of the overachievers. And, yes they are remarkable kids, but, I think the kids who get the good average greades deserve some recognition also, for all of their hard work.

  2. 65

    I’ll be looking back at that someday too!

  3. Hmm… seems a lot of my blogging friends are looking at graduations right now. Our schools here don’t get out for another month!

  4. Kathy,

    I was finally able to post my thank you to you for sending me the prize money. Sorry it took me so long. It’s here http://katsbloglove.blogspot.com/2010/05/im-back.html if you want to see it. I hope you have a great week and I’ll see you next Friday! Oh, and yes, CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE GRADUATES 😀

    Love, Kathy

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