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Socially Aware Fairgrieve 6th Graders Ready For Junior High And Beyond

Submitted by Rob Tetro

Rick Bush's 6th grade class. From left to right. Back row: Patty Pryor, Deirdre Murphy, Zachary Pettit, Dennis Parker, Devon LeBeau, Jackie Blasczienski, Rachel LeVea, Alexis Carpenter.  Front row: Isaiah Mueller, Elizabeth Cook, Bryce Guernsey, Allyson Salmonson, Donavin Downey, Daniel Hotaling, Valeree Miner, Brittany Alton,Jossmar Vasquez-Heaney. Missing: John Kadrmas
Rick Bush's 6th grade class. From left to right. Back row: Patty Pryor, Deirdre Murphy, Zachary Pettit, Dennis Parker, Devon LeBeau, Jackie Blasczienski, Rachel LeVea, Alexis Carpenter. Front row: Isaiah Mueller, Elizabeth Cook, Bryce Guernsey, Allyson Salmonson, Donavin Downey, Daniel Hotaling, Valeree Miner, Brittany Alton,Jossmar Vasquez-Heaney. Missing: John Kadrmas

Longtime Fulton Teacher Rick Bush is usually a happy man at this time of year. Bush, who has been a 6th Grade Teacher most of his career, works beyond the curriculum set before him. Like other 6th Grade Teachers in The Fulton City School District, Mr. Bush also has the task of taking boys and girls at the beginning of the year and turning them into young men and women come June. In the process, Bush’s students become better suited for the coming transition into Junior High.

Mr. Bush teaches and prepares his students but he also has the ability to do something similar to what teachers of High School Seniors can do. The result is something that creates memories that can last long beyond a Student’s academic experience. Despite many moments that a student will identify as one that was more funny, eye opening or just plain interesting than anticipated, it seems most important to Mr. Bush to encourage higher standard results in the tasks his students take part in. Simply put, Mr. Bush wants to shake a students hand as they move on to The Junior High because they have the attitude of why seek a B when you can get an A? It’s an attitude which is a reflection of the academic world but can most definitely apply to the real world as well.

Recently, Mr. Bush’s students were asked to describe what they feel about this time of transition. The students did this while reflecting upon the experiences they had while at Fairgrieve from Kindergarten to the present. The students spoke of what they will remember most about the school. The students also spoke about what was or will be the memorable event of this current school year. They students then spoke about the concerns and goals they have about the transition to Junior High.

The responses that came from these questions of reflection were that of graciousness for the Fairgrieve experience and Mr. Bush himself. But also its beyond fascinating to see how Bullying, one of the most important issues facing all school environments today, affects this group of Fairgrieve 6th Graders. The concern they feel towards bullying is very legitimate but Mr. Bush’s students are as he’s put things in the past, wise beyond there years when it comes to some of the opinions they have on the topic.

One of the areas of reflection for the students revolved around what they will remember most about Fairgrieve School. What one of the students is going to remember most about Elementary School is being in Mr. Bush’s class. Mr. Bush helped this student become as good at Math as this student has ever been. Another student will remember being in Mr. Bush’s class the most when thinking about time spent at Fairgrieve. This student feels that Mr. Bush always encourages his students to do as best as you can in school now and in the future. This is something this student will never forget that about Mr. Bush. A student is going to remember the teachers the most out of all the memories had at Fairgrieve. This student feels that Fairgrieve’s teachers are positive role models and wouldn’t change the experiences had with them for anything. Another student will also remember the teachers at Fairgrieve the most. This student is not going to forget Fairgrieve’s teachers because of how much they care about the students. A student is going to remember all the friends made while at Fairgrieve the most. This student is always going to be grateful for the acceptance received from others.

One student is going to remember the teachers and the friends made while at Fairgrieve the most. This student feels this way because they represent all the fun a student can have while at Fairgrieve. Another student is going to remember being in Mr. Bush’s class the most. This student feels that Mr. Bush does all that’s possible to keep a student feeling capable. Another student is going to remember being in Mr. Bush’s class the most out of many memories had at Fairgrieve. This student feels this way because of the motivating speeches Mr. Bush gave. Another student is going to remember the teachers at Fairgrieve most. This student feels that the teachers are always there for the students when they need them, Mr. Bush especially.

One student is going to remember the teachers at Fairgrieve most. This student feels this way because Fairgrieve Teachers are committed to helping students learn. One of the things another student is going to remember most about Fairgrieve are the beautiful green trees the school has. This student liked these trees because they were a comforting sight. Another student will remember Mr. Bush the most because he was always there for him, inside and outside of the classroom. This student feels Mr. Bush does what he feels is best for all of his students and is this students’ favorite teacher.

What one of the students is going to remember most are the teachers this student had while at Fairgrieve. This student will also remember the friendships formed along the way. A student will remember just how giving Mr. Bush is the most. The student will remember the “hour” long speeches about everyone’s future and the goal Mr. Bush has of encouraging his students to be great. This student feels this way because if a student gets into trouble, they soon begin to understand what Mr. Bush is talking about and that usually has a big impression of the students. Another student will remember Fairgrieve Teachers the most. This student will remember those teachers because they were a good influence and always there for students.

The students were also asked about what was or will be the most memorable activity or event of this current school year. One student will remember Morning Express as a memorable activity from this school year. This student points out that Morning Express allows students to sit with friends or classmates. Morning Express allows students to become aware of who’s having a birthday or what will be served for lunch on a particular day. Another student will remember the upcoming Promotion Ceremony the most out of any event this school year. This student feels that the ceremony will symbolize each students growth into young adulthood.

Another student feels that Graduation will be the moment remembered most from this school year. This student feels that Graduation is a time to celebrate both the achievement of finishing Elementary School but also to celebrate the many great memories had in Elementary School. A student feels that the upcoming Game Day event and Graduation will be the most memorable events from this school year. This student is going to remember Game Day as a fun day for everyone capped off by treats for all students at the end of the day.

Out of many moments from this year, a student is going to remember this years Game Day the most. This student feels Game Day is an important event because it allows students to work together with peers to achieve various goals. Another student is looking forward to the upcoming Graduation. This student is excited because it is a sign that the time to move on to Junior High has finally come which makes the student feel a bit more mature.

The students were also asked about any concerns they may have about moving on to Junior High. One of the students is concerned about 8th Graders. This student is under the impression that 8th Graders can be bullies. Another student is concerned about adjusting to The Junior High socially. This student hopes that meeting many new people and getting acquainted with new teachers won’t be too hard of an adjustment. Another student is concerned about conflicts that can occur upon meeting new people. This student hopes to avoid those conflicts while trying not to be too concerned with other things such as classes being too hard or forgetting locker combinations. One of the students is concerned about getting lost in The Junior High. This student has noticed the difference in size between The Junior High and any Elementary School. Getting used to a new school is also a concern for a student. This student not only hopes that the adjustment to The Junior High won’t be too hard but also to be around good people in the process.

Many students are concerned about losing the friends made at Fairgrieve. Another student is also concerned about bullying at The Junior High as well. One student is concerned about taking part in Modified Sports. This student hopes that The Coaches at the Modified Level treat players fairly. Another student is concerned about getting lost while adjusting to The Junior High. Another concern a student has is about bullying at the Junior High. This person profoundly suggests that bullies are so quick to judge others but fail to realize there own shortcomings.

Lastly, the students were asked about the goals they have for Junior High and in some cases, beyond. One of the goals a student has for Junior High is a social one. This student feels its important to know and be known by many. Another students goal for Junior High is Sports related. This student wants to excel in every sport. Another students goal for Junior High is to play Modified Sports. This student is athletic and loves to compete. One students goal for Junior High is to be known for skills related to playing the drums. Another students goal for Junior High is to be a star baseball player. This student feels this way because of a love of baseball and the hopes of eventually being known for greatness within the sport. Another students goal for Junior High is to be make new friends. This student also hopes to be around good people.

One of the goals a student has for Junior High is Academic. This student hopes to begin what is to become a great educational experience. Another students goals for Junior High is to be a good student while avoiding bullies. This student doesn’t want to be a bully or know a bully. This student feels that bullies are bad for the school environment. Another students goals for Junior High are Academic. This student wants to become a better student in ELA and Social Studies. Another student has the social goal of making new friends at The Junior High. This student hopes to meet people who are good people to be around. Another student has a goal of having better grades while at The Junior High. This student wants to have better grades in ELA.

When these students speak about what they feel now as they embark on this tremendous journey onwards to Junior High and beyond, its in no way a disrespect to the Local High School Seniors. Our Local High School Seniors have completed there respective School District’s Journey and are ready to embark on an even bigger journey which makes all the attention they get more than appropriate. The views of these students are that of students enjoying there final moments in Elementary School. Perhaps there views are the views of other Junior High bound students in there shoes locally and beyond. What really stands out is how much these students respect a Mr. Bush handshake, enjoy the annual Game Day event but they are also aware of a serious issue facing schools across the world today. Bullying. It is not only a legitimate concern for these students but surely other local students of there age group as well. Based upon what has been heard and seen, can you blame them? Our local Junior High bound students, like the rest of us will see there fair share of success and pain along the way. Bullying is a pain that Society is trying to ease. Little by little as we go forth, the opportunity will present itself for us to leave our marks on our local communities. Our local Junior High bound students have all the potential in the world to be a Future Member of The National Honor Society at G. Ray Bodley High School in Fulton or to perhaps be Hannibal or Phoenix’s next big Varsity Star Athlete. But there is an opportunity before them now. They know just how much of an issue bullying is the world over. Maybe its this group of Junior High bound students that begin to make the world free of bullying. Maybe its these young people, who by the time they Graduate High School in 2017 will have firmly set in place a world where another person can meet new people and offer that Mr. Bush handshake of respect that his students know so well, without fear of being abused physically or emotionally. As all Local Students prepare to move forward, hopefully they know and believe that almost anything and everything is possible. Graduates, let everything start now! We know that they are going to make us very proud. Thank you to Mr. Bush and his class for offering the insights that they did for this article. Congratulations to all of our Local Students embarking on this journey onwards to Junior High and beyond.