Last Marking Period...

 Today is the first day of the 4th marking period at school.  For us, it is the first day of the last marking period, period.  My son's 13 year (I'm counting elementary school) is coming to an end.  (Funnily enough, he will be spending this first "last" not in the classroom, but on a field trip to see "Wicked" which I believe includes speaking with some of the cast members and learning about their training and experiences.  Furthermore, I believe one of the cast members [although I do not know if she is part of today's discussion] is also a professor at the college my son will be attending.  Is that a sign?  [A sign of what I don't know.]  While his intended major is not theater, I do hope that he will be involved in some way with their theater department as it has been such an integral part of his life over these past 4 years.)  What has happened in the past 13 years is amazing.  Not only for my son, but for all students.

It does seem like a lifetime ago (and it really was) when we brought my son in to register for kindergarten.  Because the Principal at the elementary school was amazing (he has since retired and no administrator has ever come close to his standards), my son felt welcomed right away.  (For example see:  Because I have the photos, I remember his first day very clearly.  (As I've told my son this is one of the reasons why I take so many photos...I know my memory will fade and some HAVE, but when I have photos, the memories stay strong.)  He was nervous, but two of his "classmates" from pre-school were also in our elementary district.  By the time he was dismissed around noon (kindergarten was half day in our school system at the time), he was all smiles.

His elementary school experience was mostly a good one.  HIncludingderful teachers (including the same first grade teacher that I had! She has also since retired:  I still know them all by name and each one of them knew and nurtured my son.  (I know how lucky and blessed I am to be able to say that.)  His last day of elementary school was one of joy and sadness for all of us.  Again probably thanks to all the photos I took that day, I have vivid memories of the "clap out" (where everyone lines up and claps for the "graduating" 4th graders) and of how HOT it was that day.

Middle school/junior high school (whatever you want to call it), was not such a great experience.  As a friend once said:  "It's called middle school because they are always in the middle of something...mostly drama."  Middle school was not an easy adjustment.  (I still feel 5th grade is too soon for middle school...when I went eons ago, it was 6th and that seems more reasonable to me.)  There was stress over lockers (he was afraid he wouldn't be able to get into it and he wouldn't lock it) and confusion over where classrooms were.  There were pre-teen and teen pressures to fit in and to act a certain way.  My son's grades were not the best, or perhaps I should say did not reflect what he was capable of.  He had an issue with the French teacher, which carried over for three years.  When he "graduated" middle school, he was one of a handful of kids who were NOT recognized for academic achievement. (When 90% of the class is being "recognized" how much of an achievement is it?  And how does it make those few who AREN'T recognized feel?)

High school, while far from perfect (Covid didn't help at all!) was much better and though there was still lots of drama (that I'm doing my best to forget), I think he really found his footing.  With a push from me (and being blessed with having an acting class as elective and a very supportive teacher), he auditioned for the fall play, got a small part, but more importantly became part of something with a somewhat diverse group of teens.  He went to parties (and for the most part was able to walk home afterward) and places, at least until Covid killed that. (I will always be thankful that he got in 3/4 of his freshman year before everything shut down.)  While he still had to take certain classes, his creativity was able to flourish with electives in theater, art, and history.  While I might have imagined my son taking AP US History, I NEVER thought he'd be in an AP English class and doing well to boot!

Now, as he wraps up the last quarter of high school, he's ready to move on to the next step in his education.  While I don't expect that to be perfect either (although I can hope), I think he's pretty well prepared.  (Although I am ALWAYS going to feel the urge to nudge him.) The credit for that can be laid in part, at the feet of those teachers in high school, middle school (well some), elementary school and even pre-school.  (I'm thinking of you Mrs. B, wherever you are.)  They have done their jobs well in preparing him.  He is ready to fly.  (I don't know if I'M ready for that, but...)

So here's to the LAST marking period of high school.  Let the sun shine on the future.


Popular posts from this blog

Not Guilty

Please Don't Ask Me...

Lowe's LIES