<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaworskihouse/7824672482/” title=”First Day of School in Fourth Grade”><img src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8307/7824672482_77e17dff2f_n.jpg” width=”240″ height=”320″ alt=”First Day of School in Fourth Grade”></a><br />n<br />nToday saw Penny entering the fourth grade. She got the teacher she/we wanted, all weekend we were excited about that.<br />n<br />nThe administration posts the teacher/student assignments on the window of the school library the Friday before school starts. There are supposed to be no requesting or selecting of which teacher a student will get, and the process is shrouded in mystery. All summer long I spoke as though I already knew Penny was getting this particular teacher. He looks and acts the part of a fourth grade teacher, and I believe he’s been doing for a long time, and that he’s good at it. There is a rumor that he has a dry sense of humor, which I can certainly appreciate.<br />n<br />nBut back to the start of a new school year, all the familiar faces were back, the parents, the kids who look just a tiny bit older. After learning which teacher we’d be with, we went out to dinner with another family, friends of ours, a friend and school mate of Penny. Nearly the entire conversation revolved around who is in who’s class, with which other who’s. The social dynamics were being discussed, interpreted and analyzed in the nth degree. That was a bit more social investigation that I have a mind for, but it was fun, and we had a good time anticipating the coming year, with more advanced math, more emphasis on student independence, and the coming classroom topic of California history, along with more building of models of Spanish missions, a project that comes along with this grade level.<br />n<br />nWe’re looking forward to another fun and busy year, trying to be present in every moment. Fourth grade will come around only once per person, and that’s about the time in my past when I really start to remember things well. So, Penny’s dad: Time to sit up and pay attention.<br />n<br />nCongrats, Penny, you’re doing great, and I’m so, so happy that you’re having a good time with it all!