Tallulah at http://waydowninmayberry.blogspot.com started me thinking about schools yesterday. I was feeling really lucky to live in a town with a great school. The class sizes are small, they encourage parent involvement, and try to help every child get the best education possible. Now I'm not naive enough to think our school is perfect, we have our drawbacks like everyone else, but I am extremely grateful for our school. Last night I went to the monthly school board meeting, so it was a good day to already have education on the brain. Some months these meetings can feel miles away from the students. When we are making decisions on which bus to buy, which bid to go with on the cement work, and how to stay within the budget, it is easy to forget why we are really there. Last night's meeting was one of my favorite ones so far. Our new school counselor came in a gave talk on last years assessment tests and what they mean in context with NCLB and meeting our ayp scores. This is her first year as our counselor and I realized last night I have fallen in love with her. I have liked her as a person and respected her as a teacher for years, but last night listening to her talk about pulling the whole staff together to examine what we have been doing right and how we can improve other areas I was totally smitten. She talked about education with such enthusiasm, her love of teaching and learning shined through. I was excited about our school and secretly wished I could play a bigger role. In fact I'm blaming her and this lingering excitement for my volunteering to help redraw the district lines.
That is going to be a pain. We have to redraw the lines so that the population of registered voters in the districts do not vary more than five percent. What was I thinking?
Then this morning I read about the kabob parties. Do we do this? I can't remember anything like this. We did go to five day kindergarten a few years ago, and I was glad my kids were passed that stage and I had only had to part with my babies for three days a week. Then I remembered the library. For the last two years the librarians have made little vehicles, one with each child's name on it. These little things traveled the path through the hallway powered by accelerated reader points. I remember finding my kids names, and being glad they weren't left behind. I remember having to fight to keep myself from pushing my kids to catch up with the few who were way ahead. I remembered the concerns that this could hurt the confidence of slower readers. I had to go to the library today because it was the first day of story hour. I was so pleased to see that this year the vehicles were trains and instead of hundreds there were just fourteen. One for each class collectively. Now they can get the encouragement and drive that competition can give without the feelings of superiority or shame that can sometimes be a by product of forced competition. Thank you parents for voicing your concerns, mistakes are usually made with good intentions.