Headlines from First Thoughts

Monday, August 14, 2006

First Days

Rocky Hill Elementary School

We practiced, studied, prepared and I think we’re ready. Kelly and I mapped the route. (Turn left out of the driveway, right, right, and left.) We consulted with well-known educators like Joe Dent. We met the teacher, the student teacher, and even the new principal. We passed all the tests. We’re finally qualified to be parents of a Kindergarten student.

Parker was ready about 18 months ago. As a very advanced boy, he knew where Rocky Hill Elementary was located when we arrived in Knoxville. He pointed it out every time we drove by. He practically aced his Preschool test at St. Mark’s Early Education School for Smart Intellectual Children. Seriously, he really did have to take a test. I would not joke about this. He was graded on the scale of “Most of the Time,” “Sometimes,” and “Not Usually”-- “M” “S” and “NU.” He received an “M” in every category except one. He aced important subjects like “Counts 10 objects meaningfully,” “Hops for six feet,” “Gallops,” “Follow three unrelated commands in sequence,” “Holds pencil properly,” “Able to separates from Parents,” “Puts toys away and cleans up.” (Apparently, there was not a home version of the test.)

He received an “NU,” however, in “Skips.” You can imagine the horror on Kelly’s face when she realized she had failed to teach my son how to skip. After recovering from the sheer embarrassment, we enrolled in an advanced summer program called “Summer Skipping for Struggling Superchildren.” He can now skip with the best of them. Yes, Parker has been ready for a long time.

On the other hand, I have been more worried about me and Kelly. When we walked into the kindergarten classroom, his new teacher Miss Corden handed us our “first homework assignment.” I was afraid at first they might be test us over the same material from Preschool. Already I could read the report card.

“Follow three unrelated commands”: go to the store, pick up milk, buy stamps

Grade: NU (can’t remember all 3)

"Holds pencil properly”: do I get to use the computer?

Grade: NU. (This is why no one can read my handwriting today.)

"Able to separate from parents/child”: in the parking lot? In the room? Where?

Grade: NU. (Kelly cried at the open house.)

Instead the homework was directed at the students: “Show them where the bathroom is,” “Put on your nametag,” etc. What a relief!

Thursday morning, when both of us take Parker into the hallowed halls of Rocky Hill, our little boy will reach another milestone; and so will his parents. All of us will grow up a little more and learn to be more prepared for the days to come.


cliff shirley said...

Bill.....you and Kelly are in good hands and good company...18 years ago we "delivered" our first into the educational arms of Ms.Corden. We would do so twice more in our stint at Rocky Hill. If she isn't the greatest kindergarten teacher she is surely tied for the top spot. Parker will not only learn "stuff" ...but will "learn" to love school....Thinking about those days brings both smiles and tears...If you don't understand that concept yet ... you will. Cliff

Terry and Shirley Irwin said...

Kelly and Bill: Enjoy, laugh and cry. Tomorrow Parker will be in middle school and next week in high school. Then it is college and while Parker won't remember all the details, you will and they will last forever and make for great conversation when you and Kelly are sitting on the porch waiting for the grandkids to come over! Children are a real treasure.

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