• 55°

Rose Post's first day of school column

If you put a kindergartner on the school bus for the first time today, Rose Post has a message for you.
During her career at the Salisbury Post, Rose kicked off each school year by writing a column directed at teachers as they welcomed students to school — especially the little ones.
Long after her own children were grown, Rose remembered the powerful mix of emotions every parent goes through when first sending a child to school. She sent five of her own.
Rose, now a resident of Carillon Assisted Living, wrote for the Post for more than half a century and won dozens of awards. As she always explained, the bulk of this particular column is not her work. But it was Rose who grasped the timeless truth of its message and insisted on reprinting the column every year.
“I always knew,” Rose wrote, “the real story was about your child, my child, all the little ones who were just beginning, going off to school for the first time, one at a time. And I always wanted to tell the teacher …
“Then one day I discovered that a principal in Franklin, Ind., whose name I didn’t know, had already told the teacher exactly what I wanted to say, so I let him say it again for us.”
The column has special meaning for Rose’s family this year. Her youngest grandchild enters school today.
Her name? Rosie.
• • •
Here’s what the principal wrote:
My son starts to school this week.
It’s all going to be strange and new to him for awhile, and I wish you would sort of treat him gently.
Up to now he’s been boss of the backyard. I have always been around to repair his wounds, and I’ve always been handy to sooth his feelings.
But now …
Things are going to be different.
This morning he’s going to walk down the front steps, wave his hands and start on his great adventure that probably will include wars and tragedy and sorrow.
To live his life in the world will require faith and love and courage. So, teacher, I wish you would sort of take him by his young hand and teach him the things he will have to know.
Teach him, but gently if you can.
He will have to learn, I know, that all men are not just, that all men are not true.
Teach him that for every scoundrel, there is a hero. For every crooked politician, there is a dedicated leader. Teach him that for every enemy, there is a friend. Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest people to lick.
Teach him the wonders of books. Give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun and flowers on a green hill.
Teach him about the world of work. Teach him that it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat. Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong. Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone else is getting on the bandwagon. Teach him to listen to all men, but to filter all he hears on a screen of truth and to take only the truth that comes through.
Teach him to sell his brawn and brains to the highest bidder, but never to put a price tag on his heart and soul.
Teach him to close his ears in a howling mob and to stand and fight if he thinks he’s right.
Teach him gently, but don’t cuddle him, because only the test of fire makes fine steel.
This is a big order, teacher, but see what you can do. He’s such a nice little fellow, my son.

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

‘Whoever we feed is a blessing:’ Providence Baptist Church distributes free meals on Thanksgiving

Local

Spencer to receive $750,000 CDBG grant for home repair

Elections

For Rowan, 2020 general election turnout statistics mostly mirror 2016

Crime

Blotter: Nov. 26

Coronavirus

County sets record for most COVID-19 positives reported in one day

News

From poult to Thanksgiving centerpiece, Evans Family Farm knows how to raise turkeys

Education

Catawba, Livingstone not bringing students back until after the holidays

Education

‘Just because’: Partners in Learning surprises staff with $15,000 in bonuses, turkeys

Local

Few applications received for state’s child care, remote learning assistance grant

Local

Girls Scouts pack meals for Meals on Wheels Rowan

Education

RCCC offering solutions for students wanting to jumpstart their college education

Education

PetSmart donation to Essie Mae Kiser Foxx

Crime

Salisbury Police ready to roll out regional crime center before end of the year

Education

Shoutouts: North Hills Christian School announces homecoming king and queen

Local

‘An icon of China Grove:’ Former China Grove Elementary students remember custodian Carl Wilkerson

College

Catawba basketball: The struggle to play the games

News

What are Salisbury, Rowan County leaders thankful for in 2020?

Christmas Happiness

Faith American Legion Auxiliary gives to Christmas Happiness Fund to honor vets

Local

‘Tis the Season Spectacular Christmas parade provides entertainment, holiday spirit

Coronavirus

Four new COVID-19 deaths, total of 131 reported in Rowan

BREAKING NEWS

Operations suspended, inmates transferred from Piedmont Correctional’s minimum security facility

Crime

Man charged with failing to register as sex offender

Crime

Police say DNA evidence ties Salisbury man to bank robbery attempt

News

Catawba College researchers say invasive beetle will kill significant portion of ecological preserve’s ash trees