From entrance to exit, the passion of the elementary school staff found at the encompasses my family. I am sure that there are others of you out there who have the same experience, although I’d like to think they save this just for my little family of four.
~We are always warmly welcomed at the front office of the JCS elementary school in Norton. My four year old son has stories for the ladies that greet him every day as if they have not seen him in years.. He gets a moment to shine, even though he has not started school yet.
Because of these women, the heart beat and the order in this elementary school.. My youngest child is eager to be a student here one day. He is not afraid to leave his Mom, for he knows what awaits him. His first impression of school is that people love you there…
~With her arms outstretched, she asks me to pick her up. She is a tiny little creature and she weighs less than her younger brother so she is easily scooped up and she cradles her head into my neck. With one last brave effort, she takes a deep breath leans back so she can look me square in the eye and says, “ I wish I could stay in kindergarten forever!” And thus, loses her composure and sobs herself to exhaustion on my shoulder.
Sadly epic, I find a smile cross my lips – for my five year old confirmed what I had already known.. With the tender guidance and patience of her kindergarten teacher – who gracefully understood the tenderfoot she had found in my five year old -- my daughter would leave kindergarten equipped and ready to become….. a first grader.
~His face is serious as he gives me a long hug. He is all heart and soul this one is… He is tenacious and bold, but polite. He has worked so hard all year and today he is heartbroken. He lets go of me, but with his face hidden in my shirt, my second grade son breaks into sobs.
He is an eight year old boy with the curious energy of four eight year old boys. He would much rather be investigating how the lighting system in the school was designed than having to work on fast math.. His ego is fragile – he is his own toughest critic.
But, his teaching team knows this and help him using the learning style that is uniquely his own. With fairness and kindness they encourage maturity and wisdom. And he truly depends on that fact.
He holds tight to the people who understand him and how he is wired. As do I.
He has news of changes in his classroom with one of his favorite assistant teacher’s having to leave. I am deeply saddened for him. We hug in the middle of the cafeteria. Tears falling, we both know that this will take some getting used to – I fear it will be too hard for him.
True to the teaching staff of the JCS elementary school. The teacher in his classroom relates to my son’s sadness, talks him through it, encourages him to use his strengths and the strategies he has learned – most importantly she keeps a compassionate heart while maintaining her professional composure -- and makes the most of a rather difficult situation.
~They run in to see her at dismissal. This wonderful woman is a mother with grown boys, a compassionate sister and aunt, a loving friend – and a truly talented professional. She hugs each of my children, listens intently to their stories and makes my 5th grader feel at home in her old school.
Because of her, school feels familiar and safe. A home away from home… Something sometimes forgotten in the realm of education… I count my blessings.
~I have spent many years working in multiple school districts before becoming a professional Mom. The districts that thrive have elementary schools that are filled with professionals that can balance all the needs of the families and students that they service.
The balance begins with one key element – Love... That is a love for families, an understanding of the uniqueness of each, a tolerance and acceptance that requires great patience and flexibility… A foundation that sets the stage for excellence.
All too often, schools forget that passion is what is needed in the field of education.
Passion – is not a requirement to teach, it is a necessity to Love.
The staff at the JCS elementary school most certainly is thread together by one common bond – they love...
Speaking volumes of hope for the future…
With that said, knowing your task is enormous and your role unending…
I thank you.