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cricket
Look carefully...at the seemingly small moments...in the constant shaping of souls.- Neal A.Maxwell

Kick or Swim

After the second day of his P.E. swimming unit my 4th grader asked me why he was in the shallow end.  I went to the pool the next day to observe.  The class had been ability grouped.  Some of the kids were in the deep end jumping off the diving blocks and swimming laps the width of the pool.  Some were in the 4-5 ft water learning to swim the width the of pool.  The remainder were sitting on the wall of the shallow end learning the proper way to kick in the water.  There was my son, who can swim laps the length of the pool, sitting on the edge of the pool kicking his feet.  The pool director was in the water teaching the mid-range swimmers.  No one was available for me to talk to.  It was literally painful to sit and watch my son perform well under his ability and desire.  At the end of the session I spoke with the pool director.  She apologized for the incorrect placement and promised the situation would be rectified before the next session.  The next day my son was jumping off the diving blocks and swimming laps the width of the pool.  The pool director had done her part in rectifying the situation.  I am still working on my part and on my son's part.  I am glad my son will tell me what is bothering him - at some point, however, waiting to tell me will not be the answer.  He needs to learn how to calmly, respectfully but firmly stand up for himself.

The week following the swimming incident I received a call from my son's 4th grade teacher.  He wanted to apologize, he had show a PG rated film in class without giving advanced notice.  At registration parents are given the opportunity to authorize or not authorize viewing of PG films for the year, I had made it clear I wanted advance notice and he had failed to comply.  Another opportunity for me and my son.  Ultimately what my child views is my child's responsibility - support from others is always appreciated but the final responsibility lies squarely on my son's shoulders.  My son and I had a discussion - one that I have had with his siblings.  Teachers are to be shown respect.  My son is expected to do his best.  If something is occuring in the classroom that is against our family values it is my expectation that my son quietly and respectfully walk out of the room and I will support whatever consequence happens.  A hard position for a 4th grader to be in - but an important life lesson to learn.  When my eldest was in 9th grade his teacher showed a clip from an R rated movie.  My son quietly went to the teacher and excused himself from the room, an act of courage I am grateful for. 

My eldest is currently in an uncomfortable situation at work.  I asked him this morning if he was going to sit in the shallow end and kick or was he going to swim - I have every hope he will be "swimming" soon.

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