Indeed, it is a fact that this year's grade 3 class achieved at arguably the highest level ever seen among a grade 3 class at the Edmonton Islamic Academy and, based on the provincial exam scores, could quite easily place in the top 10% to 20% (if not higher) in the entire province! But, of course, I am not here to talk about that right now because I believe that there are other things that are more important for the future success of these kids.
What could possibly be more important and more relevant than provincial exam scores? Before I answer that question, I will start by asking you to reflect upon a couple of questions. This is to the parents, of course. Question #1.......How much of your grade 3 class can you genuinely claim to remember? I really mean it. Are you honestly able to reflect upon a specific lesson and say, WOW! back in grade 3, that was a great (fill in the subject here) class? If you are in the majority, it is more likely that you remember other things such as the games that you played, the field trips that you took and the friendships that you made much more vividly than any specific lesson or exam score.
Here is the second question that I'd like you to consider. When was the last time an employer asked you for your grade 3 provincial exam scores in a job application? The answer is never! "Grade 3 teachers" are Not even asked for their grade 3 provincial exam scores. If they were, I would likely be out of a job, because I highly doubt I came anywhere near passing them! (Yes, I was a late bloomer.... but many would say I have "Yet" to bloom :) )
Alright, back to my original case in point --> what exactly is so much more important than your child's grades? Simply put.....It is the journey that they pursued to get there, the obstacles that they had to overcome, the work habits that they developed, the friendships that they formed, and the memories that they made. That is because when all of these elements are combined, we develop a reformation of character. It is their character that will allow them to thrive and prosper into the next phase of life, and in many cases, allow them to attain those grades we all aim for.
So, what exactly is character? We may as well ponder this question seeing how it is a message I have been preaching to the kids all year. Character is one's work ethic and determination to do well in all areas of their lives. People with character are able to treat others with respect, not some of the time, but all of the time. People with character are self motivated to doing their best because it is important to them...not because they are being told to do so. Each year, the goal is to build on that character and only when one maximizes their character will their potential in life be reached. Yes, grades are important, but grades without character is a recipe for failure.
These kids can not build character alone. They need to surround themselves with people who have equal or more character than them. Alhumdulillah, my grade 3 students are a lucky bunch because every single one of their parents has outstanding character and have indeed been modelling it to them regularly..... and it shows! It is up to you now to ensure these children are constantly surrounded by people who have outstanding character. At any point in life, a person is the product of the 5 closest people in their lives. Ensure that those 5 people are quality people who strongly believe in your child's goals and dreams. Only then will they have a realistic chance of becoming successful.
I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of the grade 3A parents. The amount of hard work that you have put forth towards raising these children can not be underestimated. The year would not have been as successful without your support at home and without the many parent volunteers who dedicated numerous hours of their time towards field trips, special events and classroom activities. That is the type of character that the kiddos notice and will ultimately strive to become.
This concludes my blog for the 2012/2013 school year. Thank you very much for providing me with the opportunity to teach your children. It was an experience that I enjoyed immensely and will never forget. Enjoy the year end video below. It is the product of over 22 hours worth of work and it was worth every minute. Watch it, share it and enjoy it because it will allow them to relive some valuable memories for many decades to come. Unfortunately, due to copyright restrictions, the video can only be seen on a laptop or a desktop. You will not be able to view it on a mobile device. With that, I wish you all much prosperity and success. Have a great summer!