Today is your first day of 3rd grade! Third grade–all spiffed out in your neon yellow accents and completely unmarked shoes (no dragging your toes when you ride your bike!).
At meet-the-teacher night, Mrs. H told us all about core standards and what those changes mean for you this year. I have to tell you a secret, though: I don’t worry too much about your reading, writing and arithmetic. You’re as smart as they come. But after I dropped you at the bus stop this morning, I walked home alone and thought about some of the things I hope you’ll learn this year–in 3rd grade. Here’s what I came up with:
If there’s a boy in your class who never seems to have a pencil, give him one of your extras. If there’s a new girl who didn’t bring a snack, offer her some of your grapes. When you are kind and considerate, you’ll make more friends than you ever imagined–I promise.
Don’t be afraid to ask your teacher questions. Stand up for your classmates when they are being excluded or bullied. If you have an idea that you believe will make your school a better place, tell your principal about it when you see her on the playground. Your words matter; they have the power to effect change in the smallest things all the way up to the biggest.
Because your words matter, it’s very important to think before you use them. The best words are kind and do good and spread truth.
No matter where you go and who you meet, there will always be Negative Nellies–those who call names and stick out their tongues and hog all the time on the swings. If you learn right now to smile and walk away from those kinds of people, you’re going to save yourself a whole lot of trouble. Trust me on that one.
A+ spelling tests and top scores on your AR quizzes prove that you’re noggin is growing by leaps and bounds; Daddy and I love it when you excel on your schoolwork. Here’s a secret for you, though: it’s okay if you have an off day. It’s okay if ‘discombobulate’ is just too hard a word to spell one week. Or if you mistakenly write down 26 as the answer to 9 x 3. We all miss, from time to time. The most important thing to remember is that you should always do your very best and never stop trying. Imagine if Team USA had stopped shooting goals in that game against Ghana because their goalie kept blocking them. That game wouldn’t have been much fun for Team USA to play or for us fans to watch, would it? Now I want you to imagine that 3rd grade is your big game. You’re all suited up and ready to play. Your biggest fans (Daddy and I) are cheering you on from the stands–and we’ll keep cheering, even if you miss a shot. Keep your eye on the prize and don’t ever, ever give up.
I hope that 3rd grade is your best grade ever (well, at least until 4th grade).