By: Samantha Parrish
“Teachers affect eternity; no one can tell where their influence stops.”
-Henry Brooks Adams
2016 was a year of change for our family. Not only did we welcome another baby girl into the mix, but our oldest, Rowan, started Kindergarten! Side note: yes, we have three daughters at home ages 5, 4, and 7 months- we will need all of your prayers during the teen years!
Sending our daughter to school was a big change for us. She has always gone to pre-school but thanks to the blessing of working from home, I get to spend a good amount of time with her. Then, all-of-a-sudden, August hits and she spends 40 hours a week in school and I am left to piece together the events of the day from her descriptions (I know mothers of teen boys can relate- they don’t give you much).
Somewhere in mid-October, we started to notice something was amiss with Rowan. It is hard to put into words but, as her mother, I knew. She wasn’t quite as joyful, not as outgoing, seeming a little unsure of herself, which wasn’t like her. She is our adventurous one; she bikes, surfs, skateboards, ice skates, plays soccer, excels in school- she sets her mind on something and she goes for it. We met her teacher and I felt even more like things weren’t right. She didn’t sound at all like the kid previous teachers had described to me (in a classroom setting). Combine that with a few other things going on at school and we made the decisions to look around at other options for Rowan. We found a school that we really loved and decided to move her at semester break. It was difficult; she liked her school, she liked her friends, her new school has uniforms, etc., basically change is something kids are not too fond of.
Fast-forward six weeks and we have been incredibly pleased with her new school. Every day when I pick her up, she skips out of school with obvious joy. I understand that none of this is measurable. You can’t quantify joy, but our instincts as parents rarely are measurable. However, we recently got some data to affirm our decision. Kindergartners in Indiana take a standardized test three times a year; fall, winter, and spring (let me say that I know there is a lot of debate on standardized testing, but it is a good measuring tool to gauge where our kids are). My husband and I were very alarmed to see that Rowan’s test scores went way down from August to December. In fact, she went from the 80th percentile to the 19th. When we saw this, we were already in the process of transferring and were relieved.
Now, it just so happens that her previous school took the winter test in December and her new school took the winter test in January. Five days into attending her new school, Rowan once again took the winter set of the standardized test. She jumped back up and was in the 85th percentile! Let me tell you this is not because we did a bunch of school work over the break, nor do I think that she learned that much in five days at this new school. To me, this shows there was something wrong with the previous setting, something was affecting her. That environment wasn’t helping our girl grow and blossom into who God created her to be.
I share this with you because I think as parents, we often get talked into thinking we are overreacting to issues with our children. No one knows our kids better than us. When it comes to your children, YOU are the expert. To some, moving her so quickly may have seemed premature or overboard, but we felt we could not afford to allow someone to make such a negative impact on our child (especially at the age of 5). The people we allow into our kids’ lives leave a mark, and while we hope it’ll be positive, it won’t always go that way.
At the end of every Boot Camp, Jill says how blessed we feel to get to coach your children and she means it. We know it is a huge responsibility to be a part of a young person’s life, and we don’t take that lightly. The staff that we have put together at the Ranch has been very carefully selected, and I can confidently say they are second to none. I truly believe they have a lasting impact on the lives of players they mentor, not only for baseball, but for life.
**There is a great opportunity to have Coach Wolforth and his staff of master teachers work with your young man at our Elite Pitcher’s Spring Training Boot Camp next month in Florida. Learn more at www.FloridaBaseballRanch.com/springtraining