What Do We Want Our Kids to do Over the Summer?

I don't really know what I want them to do besides enjoy their summer and have lots of stories to share in the fall ("I would love for them to continue reading", spoken like a true reading teacher).

I do know what I don't want them to do. Forget everything I've taught them. I put time and energy into my lessons. I don't my students going back to school and telling next year's teacher that the teacher last year didn't teach them anything.  I love it when a colleague tells me that they can tell which students I had because they are so well-prepared. But. There. Is. Always. One. One who tells the others that they "don't remember that" or "we were never taught that." Cringe.  

There is one other thing that I don't want them to do. I don't want them to develop an attitude of ingratitude. Whatever you want to call it, this attitude makes for a miserable year. The child that expects everything handed to them or done for them. Not my cup of tea. How will they learn if they expect everyone to do things for them? They won't.  I see kids in grocery stores with tired moms who are screaming and demanding their way and mom gives in. I have to walk away to keep from intervening and saying, "Hey, wait a minute. Who is the parent and who is the child? Who is in charge here? Do you always give in to your child's demands?"  I know there are exceptions to every case, but we've all seen 'the attitude'.  The one that turns a precious child into a demanding, ungrateful, I-don't-have-to-earn-it-I-deserve-it adult.

So, my wish for all of my students, past and present. Enjoy your summer. Relax, swim, talk to friends, have picnics, spend time with your family, read a good book, remember some of what you were taught.  But, please don't develop an attitude of ingratitude.

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