Menu Close

National School Success Month

Author Shelley Fraser Mickle
Air Date 9/12/2001

National School Success Month Transcript

This is National School Success Month, which you would think should come in May when awards are handed out. Certainly that’s what success usually means – receiving awards and certificates for being the best at something. And really, that’s what’s fascinating about success: because from almost the second a child is born, he or she is testing in some way to see if he scores high enough to be called a success.

But the most accomplished person in my fourth grade class passed every test only by the skin of his teeth. And the fact that Clyde Barnett was my fourth grade boyfriend has almost nothing to do with this story, except that I wanted to nominate him to receive the award at the end of the year for being the most successful student, but I couldn’t spell success. Anyway, this is what I want you to know about Clyde.

Whenever we played kickball at recess, if the teams got into a fight over someone being called out, Clyde (who was always the captain of his team) would call even his own player out, if that was the truth. At our games of marbles, if he showed up with a bag of shiny new cats eyes, Clyde would make sure that everyone’s marbles were equal in size and were unchipped before he joined in a game. Once during a math lesson, when Mrs. Dickenson’s frustration with him was clearly on display, he told her he was really sorry but it just seemed he wasn’t cut out for long division.

Apparently, he wasn’t cut out for history or geography either. But never again did Mrs. Fletcher show her distress at Clyde’s learning speed. He always learned what he was supposed to, it just might be a day or a month later. And then one day, Clyde discreetly handed Mrs. Dickenson a note to tell her her slip as showing, right before a bunch of boys in the back row were ready to start a chain of giggles.

Yes, Clyde Barnett was the most honest and well-liked person in my fourth grade. So it was especially gratifying to me when Mrs. Dickenson gave him the award for being the most successful student in her class. That award meant a lot to Clyde, which certainly gives meaning to something Sir William Osler, a Canadian physician, once said: that no bubble is so iridescent or floats longer than that blown by the successful teacher.

Posted in Education, Holidays