So tonight was Kindergarten Round-Up for my first born (out of three….boys….yes, go ahead say it……say it…..here it comes….”wow you have your hands full, don’t ya?”..couldn’t help yourself…..yea, haven’t heard that before…especially when I take all three to WalMart and leave the shelves in shambles). Anyway my little Elliot, who is sharp as a tack, is going to be a Kindergartener at a public school. I don’t know why that is such a hard thing for me to come to grips with. It really isn’t that he is kind of little and somewhat sensitive that worries me. Unfortunately I think it is more about our educational system than my own personal apprehensions as a parent that scares me.
I probably need to pause a little here because it isn’t my own personal system that I’m going after here. I think that my own district does miraculous work with the resources given. We aren’t perfect, but our teachers, custodians, admin, etc. work incredibly hard and as effectively as possible. I know that my little boy, and the two others to follow, are in great hands at the elementary school we live close to. I mean the counselor is a neighbor, several teachers are friends, we know many parents, and the principal is a firecracker. We have no worries that our little boys will be well taken care of. And I absolutely want them in a public school setting. Lots of reasons there, which is probably fodder for another blog. What I am going after are the looming frustrations and fears that seem to grip our ranks in public schools which inevitably filters down to our students. Where do those originate? I have some opinions on that, but for certain there are state and national lawmakers perpetuating those frustrations and fears because think they know what is best for our kids…..My Kid.
So here is the deal, I’m making a pledge to my kid to change that thinking. I’ve always been an advocate for other parents’ kids and I take that very, very seriously. But now the gloves come off. Can’t promise that I’ll succeed, but I’ll give it my best. And it might not even touch my own kids’ educational careers. Maybe it will be my grandkids or their kids. Who knows. What I do know is that I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to continue my education in a doctoral program offered by the University of Missouri that has a reputation of growing leaders. I know first hand that is true because some of the most influential colleagues in my world have been a part of it. And with their help and guidance I’ve been accepted to take the challenge.
Honestly, I’ve wrestled with this for awhile- continuing my education. I love my family and become very irritated at things that take me away from them. This undoubtedly will force me to rearrange some time budgets, but as I look at my little boys, grubby fingernails and all, I think that I can learn to become a leader that will lead our system to real change. The kind of change that benefits my kids and yours. I am absolutely prayful and thankful for that challenge.
BTW, I have to give a public shout out to my parents, Larry and Judy McCoy. They gently pushed me in many things, including this, and I love and honor them for it. Thank you over and over.