First Grade Draft

My boss is a fitness competitor. As I walked into his office recently, I was distracted by all the shiny trophies proudly displayed on a top shelf. There were 6, I think. As I stuttered for a second in what I was sharing with him, it made me take a quick look at my own accomplishments.

Memory Lane

When I notice the rack full of medals, I don’t see the end result. I do see the work I put into earning them. And they were earned, for sure. Granted, it’s nice to have them, but it’s what isn’t written on them that makes a difference. Which leads me to this point – you can’t make someone want something they don’t want for themselves. If you’re doing it because it’s another person’s dream for you, the value is minimal, if real at all. Not to say there isn’t value, but it probably isn’t the full value you would have instilled.

All this to say…I believe there’s a draft system in public schools. Very loaded statement, Kel. As mini goes to a small(ish) school – but certainly not as small as mine was – there are 4 kindergarten classes and, I presume, as many first grade classes. So as she has begun peppering me with questions like who will be her teacher next year, I gently remind her I don’t know and probably won’t until about a week before school returns in August. Then she asks who her classmates will be. Wash, rinse, repeat.

photo credit: pexels

Which got me thinking how are classes decided? Is it a drawing? A lottery? Do the teachers drink heavily one night and pick names from an empty wine glass? There’s an idea! My predominant belief is a draft system. As the school year goes on, their teachers are keeping score. Since kindergarten is a (typically) rookie year, they get a wild card pick. So when you see kids getting traded within the first week of school, it’s because a teacher has decided to use her wild card. For the remaining years, trades can only happen when the owner, ahem principal, deems it necessary. At the end of the year, by popular vote, the teacher with the worst class gets first pick in the new school year. Indeed there lives score sheets, mugshots…I mean school photos, and printouts on how annoying the student’s parents were. Sorry, Toots, I bugged the crap out of your teacher.

I’ve been assured the draft doesn’t really take place; it’s all up to chance, so they say. Can’t fool me. I’m convinced there’s a secret society of school personnel who wait all year to call dibs on the class that will rule the school. For one year, at least.

First rule of fight club…


I ask you –

At what point should my boss stop bringing his big trophies to work?

How many kindergarten classes did your school have? Just one.

Draft: yay or nay?

3 thoughts on “First Grade Draft

  1. I’m not telling your boss what to do. I don’t want any trouble…might hit me with a big-ass trophy.

    2 kindergarten classes for my old school. My son had 6. Some suburban school districts around Pittsburgh have as many as 18. 18 amongst 4 or 5 different elementary schools.

    They have a draft. All of them have their own scoring system…like Madden ratings on the famous video game. Top rating is a 99 for about 1% of the players on there. My kid is an overall rating is 83. I know it.


  2. I can’t believe that the teachers try to group children by ability so young. Our school just has one class per year so they can’t. For literacy and maths they work in small groups but there’s lots of flexibility in them. Small boy moves maths group from time to time (he’s y2). At that age the variation in ability between subjects will be huge for each child. There’s no point putting all the kids good at counting together because some of them can probably read sentences while others struggle with 3 letter words. I hope in bigger schools it’s either totally random or trying to keep children together in rich, mixed and compatible groups to make for a diverse experience for the children without the disruption of fighting for the teacher. I think streaming only makes sense on a subject by subject basis. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses so lumping them together according to one characteristic is inherently wrong and demonstrates a very poor example.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s