At the end of elementary school, when Bennett was registering for classes in 7th grade, he really wanted to participate in the honors program in junior high. Unfortunately, the primary basis for letting kids into honors classes is whether or not they tested into the gift and talented program in elementary school – which he didn’t. I knew I could fight it, but I debated whether he would be successful – and I didn’t want to throw him into an unmanageable situation as he would be adjusting to junior high on top of it all. But Bennett was relentless in his desire.

I called his two sixth grade teachers (Spanish and English) and asked what they recommended – they both felt he could manage the work and he’s a determined kid so he could be successful if this is what he wanted.

So I fought to get him in with the recommendation of his previous teachers.

With one year under his belt, I’m shocked I almost didn’t push to get him in.

He knew the expectations were high and he met them and surpassed them. I was a little on edge the first quarter as I checked his grades every week but in reality, I had nothing to worry about. He rocked it.

At the end of the school year, he received his 4.0 academic achievement award and I could not be more proud because I knew he worked hard. He was also awarded the individual award for the social studies department (which happens to be taught in Spanish) and Outstanding 7th Grader which multiple teachers vote on.

He was all smiles. And I was grateful for teachers who knew him well enough to counsel me on his education path. It takes a village.