I signaled the “school year celebration season” some weeks ago as the calendar careened past Spring Break, into bumpy ISTEP+ testing days, and now full-on through the year-end fun of concerts, awards, parades in elementary school hallways, and so much more. The ZCHS Senior Awards event was held Tuesday evening (May 21). Awe-inspiring positive numbers about scholarships and awards will flow once again, this time for babies now nearly grown who were on the eve of Kindergarten during Y2K! (Remember that?)
ZCS events just completed have allowed many students to offer gratitude to teachers for help and inspiration along the way. Touching events like the STEP Program Annual Banquet and Rotary’s Top 5% Breakfast, to name just two, really highlight the extent to which excellent teachers in our midst make very clear, defining, positive differences in the evolving lives of young adults.
Using my parent eyes, enhanced by much experience in successful school communities, I have come to know much about the collaborative dance that successful communities foster for their youth. The music of this elegant human movement is as unique as each child involved. The partners step in and out as needed and the pace quickens with adolescence, driving, work or college considerations, and growing independence.
Successful school communities like Zionsville always have a core triumvirate that stays well established throughout the life cycle of the metaphorical dance to which I refer. This potent threefold team:
- starts with parents who do right things in right ways to produce school-ready children — and then these parents stick around, remain attentive to the theme and melody that runs through their kids’ educating experiences, and then collaborate with
- a powerful, ongoing consulting group of teachers, counselors, principals, and other supportive humans (like coaches, bus drivers, and other school experience enhancers like school secretaries, instructional assistants and more) — with the entire aim predicated upon
- the continuous growth of children who all-too-fast become the Class of 2013 — (or you supply the proper year for a kid or kids you love).
A now-old pop song included the lyric, “It’s never easy and its never clear — who’s to navigate and who’s to steer!”
Everyone reading this knows that the years across which our children come of age go by so quickly that the dance of it is occasionally too fast. At times it brings parents and kids to dizziness. But no matter, the right partners for the dance floor on which this community lifts up children toward resilient adulthood allows the overwhelming majority of us to regain control—to find the beat anew.
Paradoxically, the frenetic pace for one child and the waltz of another’s journey run concurrently. So, sometimes it is easy and it is clear — we navigate together as we teach them to steer.
Before we know it, the tune is Pomp and Circumstance. It’s a slow walk in funny gowns, a cautious anticipation about things yet to come, and a tear-jerking review in fast motion of a life still so new — but readied by solid experiences
It takes, at minimum, three to get ready for life and best chances for success. 1) Engaged parents, 2) Mission-focused human change agents (teachers and other uplifters), and 3) Young people of uniquely composed themes that emerge through their knowledge and skill in choosing between which measures to play and which ones to skip or interpret through improvisation.
And the band plays on.
Scott Robison, Superintendent
Zionsville Community Schools