Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Thoughts of School

It's Wednesday morning. Two more weeks to the day until the first day of school. I'm not ready. For me - handing my children over to anyone for any length of time, is not my idea of a good time. Sure, yes.....they can drive me bananas faster than you can say "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog." but just the same, I like them with me. School, for obvious reasons, takes them away from me.

If I were a different person in a different set of circumstances, I would probably home school. Why a different person? I don't have unending patience which I think one needs when teaching two children. Home schooling is a year round event whereby everything you do becomes a chance to teach. Measuring water? Math. Grocery shopping? Math and science. A trip to the park? Science....and recess. Mommy losing her mind and raising her voice to be heard? Not so much a great learning experience and probably won't so much be on the SAT. Just sayin'. I think my kids need to be taught be people who have a real drive and passion for teaching. (Let's be clear, being a parent is being a teacher as well. I have taught my children important things, and continue to teach them, every day of their lives.)

Oh but circumstances are what they are and like it or not (NOT!), school starts in two weeks. We are all trying our best to brace for the change. None of us are great with change (but really? Is anyone? I think people who loooooooove and crave change hate their lives...or themselves. You pick).

The rest of us are content with our lives. Love our lives and enjoy what we have and who we have in our lives. I don't see "resistant to change" as a bad thing unless it paralyzes you into not moving at all. Resistant to change is just "I don't want things to change. I like it as it is, thankyouverymuch."

And so - change in routine is not something I scramble to achieve. Nor do the children. We like knowing what to expect and what is happening. We like having plans and routines. That said - as things change, we all find our groove. New routines, new plans. It's just the days leading up to said change that can rattle us. The kids act out, I pull in. I sometimes look at them in the middle of their meltdowns and think "What I'd give to be able to scream and yell and stomp right along with you. I so get it." But sadly, because I am a grown up, that is looked at as well....a bit unstable. So instead I become quiet and withdrawn while I process. Not 24/7 because don't get to meltdown for 24/7... but every now and again. We all do what we need to do to cope.
Friday we can go over to the school to find out teacher assignments. We met up with Kaylen's kindergarten teacher who gave us the heads up that she is 99% sure who Kaylen will be getting as her teacher and that she has already talked with that teacher and filled her in a bit on Kaylen. Once class lists are carved in stone, Mrs. G will meet with the 1st grade teacher to thoroughly discuss everything and she is highly recommending Kaylen meet her new teacher and spend time in the classroom the week before school starts. I love Kaylen's kindergarten teacher. Oh how I wish she could have looped up this year and taken Kaylen with her. She is sooooo good with Kaylen and Kaylen responds well. You could actually see Kaylen relaxing as she and Mrs. G talked yesterday. It has to calm her fears to know that Mrs. G is looking out for her and will be right there if she needs her. That alone, pretty much guarantees Kaylen won't need her. Knowing there is a safety net is sometimes all we ever to be able to take the leap.

I don't know the possible new teacher well. She came in late last year when we needed a fourth 3rd grade teacher to accommodate all the kids. Her classroom was a portable and unfortunately, I have few opportunities to meet her. I do know the staff was impressed enough by her that when her contract ended, and it became apparent that we would need more teachers this year, she was offered another contract.

Now all this goes on the assumption that, as our principal sat in her office yesterday shifting around names and student groupings, she hasn't shifted Kaylen to another teacher.

Not that I have anxiety or anything but last night I dreamed Kelton was assigned a teacher at his school but Kaylen's assignment took her to another school. She was going to have Kelton's 1st grade teacher but that teacher was being sent to a different school so she decided to take Kaylen with her. First off, in realy life, I don't think the teacher would be a good match....for me. With Kaylen (both kids actually), I need to know I have easy access to the teacher and Kelton's 1st grade teacher, while great with the kids, was not great with the parents. I need someone who will communicate with me...and do it well and timely. Anyway - as my dream went, I was trying hard to figure out how to get both kids to school at the same time in different locations. And in my dream, Kaylen was repeating the way kindergarten started. Needless to say, I woke up stressed out. When my heart rate calmed, I was happy to realize it was just a dream. Or was it? Is Kaylen being bounced to another teacher? Friday will reveal all. And I'm pretty nervous. Oh...and so are the kids. :)

Kelton really has his sights set on the male 4th grade teacher but only because his class puts on a Shakespeare play every year. I'm sure he would do well in that class however I have my sights set on another teacher for him. In the end, I am defering to what his 3rd grade teachers feel would be a good match for him. I don't want him upset but I do want him to have the right teacher so I am nervous about that, too. Kelton is, too.

BUT...I have two more glorious weeks to have my babies with me and not worry about alarm clocks, rushed morning routines, school buses, homework and friend-drama. And I am going to take full advantage knowing that this year is going to be one full of changes. Small changes and big changes. But in the end, I am hoping that all the changes will be good ones.


Mimi said...

I am with you I could NEVER home school my children……I think there is good and bad to home schooling……the good…..they have all of the one on one they need and you can go at their speed ….the bad……I think children needs to be around other children……my neighbor home schools her 4 and the children do not know how to handle other people……they are sooooo shy……Kaylen will do fine……she now knows what school is all about she will be ok……..hang in there time will tell

Tanya said...

Sounds like you're in the right frame of mind. I keep wondering how they decided to put who with what teacher, and how do I know if the teacher is any good. I hate it.

Casey said...

Well - I know for us, the going into K's meet with the teachers to do a pre-assessment and based on how the child responds to the teachers and how they test, they are placed into what they hope is a good fit. After the K year ends, the K teachers decide who will do best with what 1st grade teacher. (Remember: they are co-workers so they know each others personalities and teaching strengths which makes matching much easier!)

Kaylen was originally matched mid-year with her first grade teacher but then, due to teachers looping, lay offs etc. that teacher looped down to K for this coming year which means she wasn't available. It has taken much thought to find a "best fit" for Kaylen. She needs a strong adult who can maintain control consistently and who has a calm learning environment. Routine is vital for Kaylen. So...they get the teachers in place and then start working on placing the kids.

It really is a thought filled process. The hardest part is for the parents to trust in it.