Sunday, June 10, 2012

Goodbye Grade School

It's hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that two of my children are now forever done with grade school.  S is off to middle school next year.  She finished out her 6th grade year with flying colors.  Perfect attendance, good citizen, outstanding effort, and a "4 point something else" GPA.  She amazes me.  There's so much ability and talent and intelligence and goodness wrapped up in that sweet, shy little package.  She is beginning to bloom and it's a wondrous process to behold.

In the photo above, she was dutifully completing the math problem we were supposed to solve together at open house.  It's a good thing she's such a wiz at math because I was only paying attention to good lighting and the wonderful, colorful projects displayed all around her classroom.
Mr. C was an amazing teacher.  I feel so grateful that S was able to benefit from his high standard for excellence and his sense of humor.  Especially that sense of humor.  The stories she would tell us about school would crack us all up.  He'd make the kids stand on their chairs while the rest of the class sang to them on their birthdays.  And they would do line dances on Fridays.  And have wii dance parties for the major holidays.  And he would stop reading at the most exciting moment in the story and try to trick them into saying that they didn't want to hear anymore.  And a couple of times, he had them fold their spelling tests into paper airplanes and throw them at him.  If anybody actually hit him, they didn't have to take the test.  One time when he told a joke, only one kid laughed, so Mr. C gave him candy.  And most of the class was in tears when he gave a little goodbye speech on the last day of school.  He is, hands down, her very favorite teacher to date.  No surprise there.

And I totally love the makeshift class yearbook he put together.  I learned quite a few things about my daughter that I never would have suspected.  She apparently yelled at Taylor when he was trying to trade seats with her.  She is also a professional soccer player in Scotland, a secret spy in Russia, a professional rapper in good old America.  She has an evil twin and she's violent towards her little brother (wait, I already knew about that one). 

This is what she predicts for her future.  "In twenty years, I will be 31 years old.  I'll be finished with college.  I'll probably have my own family and maybe a job as a flutist, artist, or something else.  I'll live in Virginia, Illinois, or Wisconsin.  I'll be happy!"

During their end of the year election, she was voted winner of the following awards:  hardest worker, smartest, most cooperative, best reader, most artistic, best mathematician.  She was also voted the most likely to rule the world, but also won the quiet as a mouse award.  I'm curious to see how those two work out for her in the future.  But, as one of her coaches wrote in her class yearbook, "You are the best silent leader I know!" 
Through GATE, S was able to go on some pretty cool field trips.  And she joined an after school GATE lego robotics club where she was able to design, build and program these robots.
Their coach was great.  She was so enthusiastic about the whole program.  She got it started just a few years ago.  And this year was their first year competing against other schools.
S's little team competed against some other schools with teams 4 or 5 times larger than hers.  And they held their own.  As the coach said to me once the scores were announced, "Yes!  We didn't come in last!" 

In fact, the judges seemed pretty impressed with the swing arm that S designed.  The coach told me that during their interview, the kids mentioned the swing arm and all the judges leaned forward dramatically, their interest piqued.  I guess they don't see designs like that very often at this level. 
And then, of course, was honor band.  Our school district is pretty big on the performing arts, which has been such a benefit to my girls.  And apparently, the district has not mismanaged their budget like the rest of the world, so they didn't have to cut any of these fabulous programs.  Hip, hip, hooray!

S had a great time meeting music students from the other elementary schools in the area and getting to practice new songs with them.  They sounded great at their performance at the local high school.  When I think back to how squeaky and airy she sounded when she first began playing the flute, I am amazed at how far she has come in her musical abilities. 
Which is a little ironic since remembering to practice regularly is not exactly her forte.  And remembering to remind her to practice regularly is not exactly mine.  But somehow, sometime, something has happened over the years that give this girl the ability to make some beautiful music come out of that little silver pipe.

I hope she embraces the new opportunities on her horizon as much as she has embraced being a fabulous sixth grader.

1 comment:

Mom said...

You must be so proud of this sweet little girl. Tell her Grammy is proud of her too.