Nolie’s Nook – Bloom Where You’re Planted

Nolanne Rust

I attended middle school open house in Oskaloosa the other night. I’d like to lie and say I don’t have a middle schooler….. but I guess I really do.

I am and always have been a firm believer in “bloom where you’re planted”, “supporting the home team”, and other phrases like that which ultimately tell us to live with a positive attitude wherever we are. I planted myself in Oskaloosa 15 years ago. I had children and chose to stay and raise them in Oskaloosa. And to me, that means they’re Indians. We are Indians. And we are PROUD of it!

I hear so many negative things about the school district (and actually just received a message questioning the open enrollment numbers). Not even mostly from kids. From adults. Because adult competition is fierce let me tell you. So, I looked up statistics and there are roughly 100,000 middle schools in the United States. So you know what that means? It means there are 99,999 middle schools that your child can attend that will not be THE best. But, thankfully, it does NOT mean that they can’t succeed in each of them! Society sets limits in places where possibilities are limitless. That’s our problem, listening to society instead of believing in our children and trusting our administration.

I have been deep in my feelings this month. Sad because my firstborn is growing up. Scared because I wasn’t sure what to expect as I was raised in a much smaller town and district. And nervous that my son wasn’t ready. But attending the Open House brought so much relief. I listened to both Principals speak on addressing behavior issues and practicing being kind and respectful. I met my son’s homeroom teacher who welcomed us with warmth and positivity for a school year she had planned out for my son and his peers. And I maneuvered like a sardine through a sea of 6th Graders and their families- which could be overwhelming- but brought me peace due to all the different friendship and partnership possibilities my son will have over the next 3 years. And then for 4 more years beyond that.

Life is what we make of it. There are pros and cons in every single decision to be made on children’s schooling. There are things we will both love and hate at any school, any job, and in any town. But what I am trying to do in life right now, more than anything else, is raise my children for a future that they can be successful in. I’m not moving to that 1 town in all of America with the best school system. I’m training my boys to achieve excellence right where they are in the desire that they see the good out of every situation and can hold down jobs and positions and relationships when they are adults- even on the difficult days.

Are there behavior problems? Yes. Are there 4 times as many behavior problems as there are are at a school 1/4 of our size? Yes. Because that’s math. But if we as parents are teaching our kids how to be respectful of authority and other children at home, then we could narrow that number down. I think our world has become filled with people that wish to push blame onto anyone and everything instead of taking responsibility for ourselves and for our children. It’s easier to blame a teacher when our child acts out than it is sometimes to train our children in the way they should go. It’s more comforting to be mad at a principal for giving our child a detention than it is to have our child mad as us for disciplining them.

We have to take responsibility for our children’s actions while teaching them to be accountable for their own.

I firmly believe our school system is equipped with a great faculty that have our children’s academic advancement as a priority. But if we are expecting our teachers to have to babysit and referee constantly so we don’t have to do it ourselves, that doesn’t leave much time for teaching the educational fundamentals. Sometimes we need to change our own mindset more than the need for our community to change.

My son is starting middle school at Oskaloosa Middle School, and I will always be proud of him and proud to be an Indian.

Choose kind, spread love, Go Indians!

Posted by on Aug 23 2019. Filed under Editorial, Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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