Friday, August 24, 2012

Back To School Fragments

This is the last Friday of our summer 2012. 
  • I know my boys had a full summer break. I reminded them earlier this week that this was their last week of summer and offered them the last chance to do anything they had hoped to do this summer but hadn't done yet. Day trip to DC? A visit to one of the local lake "beaches"? Sleep outside in the backyard? They declined these and came up with no real alternatives. Actually, their alternative was to have as much unscheduled time as possible. They know what the next nine months hold for them as far as demands on their free time. So this week has been theirs to do as they wish. 

  • And that is very real and shouldn't be squandered. When was the last time you had several days of uninterrupted time do whatever struck your fancy? I've let my kids have as much as possible around the few doctors appointments and mandatory back to school errands I have managed to squeeze into this week.
  • My son's middle school has a new principal this year. We went to his back to school night last night. Let me just say that I am thrilled so far with the new principal. If first impressions are true, we have a dynamic, professional, effective principal in our midst. He has already implemented some very needed changes to the overall running of our school. He conveyed his vision of excellence for our students and teachers. He set the bar high for performance and behavior. And he seemed nice and fun to boot. I hope I am right.
  • Both of my boys will have teachers this year that look like I could be their mother. I could be there mother in an alternative universe where I had children at an age too young to be trusted with children of my own.  Actually, if chronology is all we are concerned with, yes I could mathematically be their mother. This is not a comment on my expectation of the effectiveness of these teachers or the knowledge and skills of these able young women. It is a comment on how young new professionals look to me. I suppose my face looked as clean scrubbed when I showed up for my first day (and several subsequent years) of work with my newly earned CPA license all those years ago. 

  • I have one niece who just graduated in the spring with her education degree and is in a Master's program this fall. She is beginning her teaching career as young and fresh faced as my sons' new teachers. I am sure if I walked into her classroom with my 12-year-old, I would have the same reaction. But I know my niece and her lifelong desire to teach and her love of kids. She will make a great teacher. I can only assume these young women are cut from a similar cloth and my kids will be in their very energetic, capable hands.
  • At back to school night, the new principal asked the parents to complete the following sentence, "This year I will make history at our school by..." These unfinished sentences were found on half sheets of paper scattered tabletop around the cafetorium. (I love that word...found only in public schools.) We parents were asked to write our projected historical contributions and slip them into bins as we exited the cafetorium (there it is again.)  For the record, I despise open-ended sentences that require me to commit to something in the future (think...In five years, I will be....I don't know!) 

  • Anyway, the easy answer would have been to write something like "streaking" because this was to be written anonymously. And if you want to make history at least briefly, streaking is a quick and inexpensive (depending on how costly indecent exposure convictions run in your area) way to do it. But I knew that's not what he was looking for and my son was reading over my shoulder. So I committed in writing to be heavily involved in my son's education and to be a source of support for him and his teachers. That may not sound like the makings of history; it's what I always do.  But it will be a much more welcomed contribution than my streaking.
  • Happy Back to School!


  1. Enjoy the last weekend before school starts! Our school started on Tuesday, and after nearly 1 week, I think it's so far, so good.

    But that streaking comment cracked me up. :)

  2. Hope your right on the principal call. They can really make or break school.

  3. I think what you committed to sounds like a wonderful contribution. I hope the principal continues to inspire.

  4. Good call on the streaking idea LOL. I can hear it now "mom that's gross".
    "unscheduled time" - I could rant about that one. Kids don't get enough nowadays (that's a word mostly used by older people) because we have structured their lives too much. Kills imagination I believe.

  5. My kids are big on having free time... I had them in two camps this year, and while they enjoyed it, I think they preferred lazy days at home instead!

    I giggled at your young teacher fragment. One of my coworkers turned 27 this week and no, I couldn't be her mother, but she is young and single and I realized when I was her age I'd already been married for four years and was about to give birth to my second child!

  6. I don't like those open-ended sentences either--my brain goes numb.

  7. you sound like the ideal parent, and don't take this wrong, but it's such a no-brainer--Be the adult, be positive, demonstrate your support for those in authority, set reasonable goals and work towards them. As a teacher, especially, I appreciate the kind of mom you are. Have a wonderful school year! :)

  8. Thank you Mrs4444 for your complimentary words. I do try to be a positive support for my kids and their teachers. I'm not a teacher but I do recognize what a HARD job teaching is. Nay-saying parents who don't own their share of the educational responsibility and who don't require their children to own their share of the responsibility make teachers' jobs harder. Good luck to you this school year....have a great one!


Whaddaya think about that?