When I was a kid, grading day wasn’t a thing. It wasn’t even called that. It was just the last day of school and it certainly wasn’t cause for celebratory gift giving. We may have gone out for ice cream after supper or something like that (I’ll have to consult my parents to confirm, but I feel fairly certain about this), but it wasn’t a big to-do. I wasn’t bringing home report cards full of straight As either. Regardless, decent grades were also an expectation, not something incentivized by presents.
Now, with social media giving a lens into everyone’s living rooms, I see that grading day can mean big-ticket gifts and accolades. It makes me wonder, what ever happened to the reward being two months’ off school or getting to proceed to the next grade?
Last year, at the end of Jacob’s primary year, we went out to supper. But to be honest, that was more about the fact that Mike works his tail off during the month of June to grade a pile of assignments, record marks, write thoughtful report cards, wrap up the softball season, clean out his classroom and million other little things that make the end of the school year more of a marathon than a sprint. I think he earns a plate of Swiss Chalet for that, don’t you? Because it was a special occasion and we were in a mall that had an Indigo store, we bought the kids each a Beanie Boo that night, too. They weren’t wrapped or presented specifically for the end of the year, but just a spontaneous bit of fun.
This year, our boy brought home straight As again so to celebrate his and dad’s accomplishments, we are going out to supper tonight (Montana’s this time). It was a milestone for the wee one, too, who marked his last day of daycare today.
Update: Then, over the weekend, I gave them a slip ‘n’ slide. I’d picked it up a month or so ago because the one they loved last summer was quite worn and was tossed. I’d tucked it away for a special occasion. When I gave it to them, I said “Happy summer!” and praised them both for having excellent school years. I can’t decide if this means I got suckered in to the grading-day-gift-giving-palooza or not, but I admittedly can see the excitement involved. But they’ll never be getting new bikes or video games. A $15 strip of plastic is my limit.