It was the last day of school my third grade year. I don’t remember all that much about that year or the kids that were in my class. What I do remember was sitting at my desk while I watched the teacher write everyone’s name on the board telling them which teacher they would have the next year. When she was done, I was crushed. My name was no where to be found. I think I even started to cry, thinking I was going to be held back. How could this be! I was smart! I got good grades! I was nice to everyone. I remember raising my hand, and she called on me. I asked her where was my name? Why wasn’t I on the board? She looked at me with a really puzzled look….”Didn’t your dad tell you?” she said to me. “No” I replied. “Jennifer, you are going to a new school next year.”
I don’t remember much after that, other than the part where my dad explained to me that I was going into the T.A.G program. It was for kids who needed more challenge at school. I can tell you that I remember not being that happy, or excited to be leaving my friends. When I found out the school was 2 bus rides away and I wasn’t going to know anyone, I was even more upset. The summer went by and soon it was time for a new year to begin.
The memories I have from the next 2 school years have followed me ever since. I had the BEST teacher ever. I was in a class of kids who understood me, they thought like me. They learned like me and they were soooooo nice to me. We had so much freedom and flexibility to each day. We knew what had to get done and as long as that happened, everyone was happy. The teacher was happy, the parents were happy and the students were happy. Some of my very best memories of being in school came those 2 years that I was in that program. I would have loved to continue with it, but it wasn’t offered past the 5th grade so in my 6th year, I was mainstreamed back into regular school with all of those kids I knew from before. It worked out fine, I guess. I always had that label attached to me after that but for the most part I was accepted back without issue.
I know that my dad made that choice for me because he was trying to get me the best education possible. Isn’t that what we all want for our kids? I know I do.