Maximus and I went on a quick grocery run to Walmart. As we walked past the meats section I heard a mother and her young son having a conversation. She was telling him that he should give school pizza a try, and he did not seem the slight bit interested. I chimed in and here’s how our conversation went.
Me: I used to love the school pizza!
Mom: Me too!
Kid: (looked a little curious)
Me: They used to serve on it Fridays and it was in the shape of a rectangle.
Mom: That’s right, those were the good days.
The mother went on to explain that her son was in Kindergarten and still wanted mom to is pack his bag for lunch. She thought he was worried about the entire process of having to learn a lunch number and go through the line. We all continued to talk about how the lunch room ladies would help him if he needed help. He only seemed a little bit more curious.
I eventually asked which school he attends. He says Breckinridge Franklin. Being a former educator, I ask the name of his teacher. He says “Mrs. Clark”. I ask his mother to describe her. And here’s where the full circle comes into play. See Mrs. Clark is this kid’s kindergarten teacher and I taught Mrs. Clark’s daughter, Katie, in both kindergarten and first grade. Katie is now a sophomore in college. We were all excited about the coincidence and they couldn’t wait to go to school the following day to tell her. As I walked away, I started reflecting on the youth that I had taught over the years and became curious about both their successes and failures. I thought about this kid and how much he would change over the next year.
A good education is one of the most valuable things you can possess. There are many powerful, memorable teachers in Louisville that will leave lasting impressions on your children. Just know, though, that as powerful a teacher is, reinforcing the educational values/skills at home with a parent/grandparent and/or mentor is just as important. If you know kids of any age, ask them how school is going thus far. Not just how it is, but what they are studying. Encourage them and tell them about your experiences. Although most of us didn’t walk 25 miles in the snow to get to work, we can tell about milk breaks, library card catalogues, and fluoride rinses.