By Curtis Hendricks
For many in our valley, school will be out on June 7th, 2013. June is not far off from now.
In fact, we have less than one month before summer vacation becomes a reality. For our top
grades, such as 8th grade moving on to high school and 12th grade moving on to college,
graduation and summer come sooner than we may have anticipated. My school is releasing the
8th grade students two weeks earlier on May 24th. The school year came and went very fast. On
the Friday of May 24th, my eighth graders will be having their graduation and then off to
Disneyland. I cannot believe that these students are leaving and moving on. The private school I
work for allows me to know all of my students on a personal level because of our small student
population. Watching these students graduate will be a bitter sweet event.
The impending graduation of students is important to note early. Grades will need to be
done sooner than the rest of the grades, preparations and invitations must be made and sent out,
and the students should be prepared mentally to what their futures may entail. For my eighth
grade students, I tell them what high school may be like. I discuss what I encountered in high
school and how times have changed from what high school was like. For example, when I was
observing classes at my old high school I noticed the school security was wearing both mace and
baton on their person. When I attended the high school, the security only wore keys on their
belts. Times are tougher in schools, or so it would seem. Also, during the day I observed at my
high school, two fights broke out during lunch. I remember thinking to myself, “What happened
to my high school alma mater?” I let my 8th grade students about to move on know that a little
common sense can go a long way in high school and keep them out of trouble.
Our students and children are growing up and graduation is just another reminder of this
fact. Talking to your children is the best and most direct way to help keep them out of trouble
and focused on their work. Many students have already “checked out” of school because of the
expected arrival of summer. Keep your kids focused. One of the hardest parts of my jobs as a
teacher is keeping my students focused and on task during the last month of the school year. I
still have testing and lessons going on up until the last week of school. I need your help in
keeping the focus and drive going within these students. Please help my talking to your children
about keeping their minds attached until summer begins. Also, help your children by talking to
them about what may be to come in their scholastic lives. A student who receives knowledge of
what they can expect is not only better prepared for their future, the student will become less
stressed and perform better. Talk to your children and they will perform better.