Warning: This is a Mom Brag Blog, I just can’t help it. BUT I’m also not one of those annoying moms who think their child can do no wrong and pretends it was all smooth sailing. Elise and I have discussed writing a book (when she’s 30) titled My Teen’s Not Perfect, How ‘Bout Yours? So, yeah, I know better. J
I have had many first days of school, my own, of course, but those for the most part have faded. I do remember sixth grade when my friends and I had discussed whether we’d wear dresses or pants on the first day. I am old enough, that even having that choice was a bit new for us. Until fourth grade, girls had to wear skirts or dresses, pants were not allowed. Forgetting to wear shorts under our clothes on PE days usually resulted in that classic poem about European capitals and underwear.
But, the first days of school that are more important to me now are those of my daughters. I remember Elise’s first day of kindergarten, looking at her hunched sleepily over her hot chocolate and thinking to myself, “This is my life for the next 15 years.”
Well, as they say, The days are long but the years are short, and those 15 years (plus 2) are over now.
We still went shopping for school supplies this year though, not only for Sasha, our college sophomore, but also, in a very special way, for Elise.
This fall, Elise will be experiencing the first day of school from the other side of the desk. She will be a student teacher, teaching math to seventh graders. I look at the path she’s taken and who she is and I think how lucky these students are to have her.
Elise has always had a passion for education and for schools. She started a major fundraiser for her school district in 5th grade, she has tutored or been a camp counselor since middle school and volunteered in multiple schools in Berkeley and Oakland during her college years.
She ‘gets’ this age and she gets math (that would be the paternal genes at work) but mainly, she is kind, loving and intelligent and she realizes that everyone, especially adolescents, need to feel seen and heard.
Her eventual job goal is to work in educational research, but she realizes that to do research and to make recommendations, she needs to have practical teaching experience first.
Teaching, like parenting, is MUCH easier in theory, than in practice.