When I was an elementary school student we moved a lot, and, by the time I was in sixth grade, I had attended 5 different schools in 3 different districts. I am very sympathetic to Griffin's being the "new kid," however, I also know that he will ultimately develop more confidence as he learns to negotiate his way through a new academic setting. He will have the benefit of experiencing two different schools and learning that educational settings have both similarities and differences, a fact which remains constant despite education's steady march towards standardization and homogenization. I was really impressed with the teachers I met last night and their devotion and enthusiasm for their craft was obvious. I am incredibly optimistic that Griffin will have a great year, but I witnessed something last night that has left me sobered with sadness. During a presentation by one of the academic teachers, a sign-up sheet was passed around the room inviting parents to participate in the planning and execution of 6th grade graduation in June 2011. After I added my name and contact information to the list, I handed the sheet to the woman sitting nearest to me. A few minutes passed and I realized she was still looking at it. I assumed she was trying to project into the future about her availability, perhaps mentally considering her calendar of commitments. Until she got my attention to ask, "Is this where we put our names to show that we were here?" I was stunned. I don't think she was able to read.
As I struggle with the daily decisions and stresses and challenges involved with parenting, I will do my best to remind myself of the positive ratio of advantage to challenge which we, as a family, possess. And to remain cognizant that a fundamental purpose of education should be to open everyone's eyes.