Blog post by Mrs. Wilson
This time of year finds me a bit nostalgic. Spring is here and baseball gloves and lacrosse sticks begin to make their way in and out of school, car windows are down at pickup in the afternoon, and end-of-the-year field trip request forms start floating into my office. With spring comes graduation preparation and that’s where my nostalgia begins. You see, these eighth graders have been with us a long, long time and now we find ourselves getting ready to create their culminating elementary school experience. I can’t help but look at back at how far these kiddos have come. Many entered as tentative four-year-olds, unable to tie their shoes and needing help to open their milk cartons at lunch. To watch their journey into adolescence is a pretty profound honor. Children who at one time didn’t know all twenty-six letters of the alphabet are now proficient readers at weekly Mass (and some of those Old Testament names are no joke!); students who upon enrollment could barely count to ten are now masters of the quadratic formula (thanks, Mr. Carlson!).
Aside from all the academic changes, the school has also been here to witness the other changes, too. Friendship rollercoasters, disagreements with parents and teachers (ok, and sometimes the principal), tough loses on the field or court, family emergencies, and the overall struggle to find identity. It’s a densely-packed stretch of development and despite its ups and downs, it’s been an honor to be part of it, to support these children, err, young adults, through the many changes life has thrown their way.
Last week, Mr. Close and I brought the eighth graders to the Chrism Mass in Burlington. This is a Mass when the diocesan Bishop blesses all the sacramental oils to be used for the year in all the parishes throughout the diocese. While to some, it’s just a really long Mass, to the teachers and me, it’s the beginning of the end with our eighth graders. We make our pit stop at Ben and Jerry’s on our way home, and then begin planning the remaining events, such as the Boston trip, the cardboard boat regatta, the last dance of the year, Fun Day, saint medal and award recipients, and (gulp) the measurements for caps and gowns. Don’t get me wrong – we are happy – but we’re also sad. No two classes are ever alike, and these unique personalities become part of us, shaping us as educators and people. It’s hard to see them go.
But they don’t really go. No, they always come back. They come to a few soccer games in the fall, make an appearance at Homecoming, and sometimes will visit classes when they have a day off when we’re in session. And they keep coming back, when they want to invite one of us to their high school graduation. Or, when they’re home from college and picking up a little brother or sister. Farther down the road, if we’re lucky, they come back to enroll their children, beginning the cycle all over again.
That’s the goal, isn’t it? To make BJAMS a place where its children will always want to come home. Class of 2017, BJAMS will always be your home and you can come back anytime.