There has been a lot of discussion lately about third grade testing and retention. This is the year that THE TEST is going to determine the fate of thousands of third grade students. I have a feeling that in a few weeks we will all be questioning the wisdom of this decision and the implications of it on the future of education.
Pondering this situation led me to wonder about my own experience as a third grader, so I tried to conjure up some images and memories from that year. Can’t do it.
However, looking at my third grade photo enabled me to correct a mistake on my “places lived” list. I can account for 51 lifetime moves…so far. But when I looked at my third grade class photo I was surprised to see a different school from the one I attended as a second grader. I can remember the house we lived in when I was in second grade. It was a huge faded red house just off a major intersection in the city. Several important things happened there, including the birth of one of my brothers, so it stands out in my memory. I can even remember walking home from Webster Elementary.
I had always thought that we lived in Madera when I was nine, but my third grade photo says Roosevelt Elementary, which is in Fresno. Guess I had just not paid attention to that detail before. Thankfully I had our old address. Plugged it into Google with Fresno instead of Madera. Up popped a map and there is our street, about a mile from Roosevelt Elementary. Mystery solved. I remember my dad working on a ranch and that was the year I stepped on a bottle in the river and cut my foot. Still don’t remember anything about school, but I cared enough about it to try to sneak off to class before my doctor released me to do so! lol
I’m sure this is trivial and meaningless to most people, but I sincerely hope that our current third graders remember much more about their year than the stress of testing.