Thursday, September 3, 2009

Kindergarten Blues

School starts for Oliver and Abigail in a few more days and as much as I am ready for them to go back I am also getting a little anxious, and not in a good way. Last night I received a call from Abby's kindergarten teacher reminding us that tonight is the Meet & Greet at the school. During that conversation I had a few red flags go up in my mind and then my stomach started doing flip flops. I thought to myself "I am not sure this is the right teacher for Abby" Yes, I know it's going to be a rough transition for both of us. My little girl heading off to school for the first time. I am going to miss her like crazy, even though I know she's ready for school. She's so excited about meeting other little girls her own age, and who can blame her. Growing up with three brothers and no one except me to appreciate her love of pink and all things girly. But there was something about that conversation that bothered me. Mrs. "I" was very nice and polite and told me a bit about herself and her teaching career, she's been a kindy teacher for 26 years. She also told me a bit about her philosophy. Mrs "I" said she was somewhat "strict" and didn't put up with much "monkey business!" Ugh-oh.... okay, I get that she wants and needs to have control of her classroom but they are 5 year old's for goodness sake. They are all about "Monkey business", I see Abby and Mrs. "I" not getting along.

Abby is such a character, so full of life and a huge personality. Just yesterday I got to meet our new neighbors and of course Abby had already gotten to them. The mom said "Wow! Abby is so outgoing and not the least bit shy" and all I could think was "Yup, that's my Abby!"

I so hope I am wrong! That tonight when Abby and I meet Mrs. "I" that I see a twinkle in both of their eyes. Some kind of connection between them. Something that gives me an indication that this is going to be a good match. I really want this to be a great experience for Abby and I cross my fingers that 26 years of working with 5 year old's hasn't soured Mrs. "I". Seriously, I love kids, but I cannot imagine wanting to work with 5 year old's as a career. For the sake of the teacher and the kids don't you think there should be a limit on how many years you can work with the same age group of children. The school system should require teachers to move around amongst the grades to keep their mind fresh and constantly coming up with new ideas and experiences.

I would almost prefer a new teacher fresh out of college. Young and filled with new ideas and excitement about their new classroom. Truly excited to be teaching and a room filled with crazy 5 year old's. I'd so much rater have a young teacher who makes mistakes and learns from them with students than a "seasoned pro" who has lost her passion and just goes through the motions like a well oiled robot. Oh, I so hope I am wrong about Mrs. "I"!

am I being an over protective mama? am I over thinking this one? are these knots in my stomach me being over dramatic? We'll see tonight when we meet Mrs. "I" for the first time. I have a very strong feeling that Abby is going to announce loud and clear that "She IS NOT going to go to school!"

to be continued...



KBriggs said...

I think you have in all your rights to be worried about Abby and her teacher getting along, at least i would... Faith has the same spirit as Abby so i can understand very well how you are feeling.
i will be praying that everything goes smooth and that they like each other at the end of the meeting. :D

April said...

It will be all right, Dawn. I promise. (Speaking from experience, whatever you do, do not let Abby have the slightest inkling that you have a reservation.) Most likely it's that your little girly-girl is going to school for the first time and anxiety is taking a number by casting doubts on your heart. I know. I did it, too. I would invent scenarios of my own fears as if they were going to happen to SweetPea. More often than not, it is the seasoned teacher who has it figured out that routine and expectation for the children serve them best. It sure makes for a more relaxed, secure environment. The teacher's comment would have actually put my mind at ease for that very reason. She will set the ground rules/expectations the first couple of days and when all of the students realize that the teacher is to be respected then they will actually come to LOVE her for it. Chaos and mayhem would bring SweetPea home in frustration, but a routine for what to expect each day makes a transition away from home that much easier. That said, the honeymoon is over and there are still a few tears in the evening (bedtime, usually) of wanting to be home with Mama, but each morning now she leaves excited and forgets the night before. Just today she was leaving without saying goodbye to me (too excited to get going! hahaa!) until I called her back. She may not have needed that love good-bye, but *I* sure did! :)

Amy said...

I'm sure Abby will do fine and I'm sure the teacher will make her feel welcome. Don't overthink this!

I've had the new, young, fresh out of college teachers and basically it was a wasted year for my kids. The young teachers are clueless about how much work as to be covered in the year's time and unless they have already had their own children, my experience has been that they are very wishy-washy and unorganized.

However - there's a lot to be said for motherly intuition and I'm sure you'll figure it out soon enough, if she's the right match for Abby or not.


Dawn said...

Thanks for all your support! I am still a basket case about all of this but I certainly hope that all my fears will be cleared up in a few hours when we actually get to meet Mrs. "I". There is more to the story but I didn't feel comfortable sharing that in such a public place. I just hope it all turns out to be mommy jitters and that Abby and Mrs. "I" hit it off.

Beth said...

I'm not sure what I can say that hasn't been said - I agree with April on a lot of what she said!
I taught before my kids came along, and I think you get all kinds no matter their age. Not all young teachers are wishy-washy and unorganized, not all old teachers have lost their passion. And some teachers really shouldn't switch grades - teaching K/1 is a TOTALLY different thing than teaching 4/5!
I agree though- don't show Abby your reservations. Just have a positive attitude, and don't be afraid to be an advocate for your daughter if needed.
Hope all goes well tonight!!

Hayes said...

Having a teacher who was not strict at all, I can say I would prefer the strict teacher. Our K teacher lost complete control of her class 4 months into the year. She let 16 5 year olds run the class and it was chaos.

Abby will do BRILLIANTLY!

Goosegirl said...

Oh Dawn, BIG HUGS!
You are going to be fine and Abby will most likely do very well. India's kindergarten teacher was fresh out of college and she was NOT good. She was a screamer and could not control the classroom. It was partially that experience that led me to homeschool India for first grade.

Now Ahnalin has a seasoned teacher in her late 40s. I spent the day in her classroom today, as it was Ahnalin's first day back after her surgery. I LOVE this teacher. She truly loves the children. She is very strict but those kids love her and listen well. They work hard to please her and she rewards them for their listening and hard work. She is gentle and can be firm without raising her voice. I think I have a lot to learn from her. I will be volunteering in the classroom every wednesday and hope to pick up some of her technique.

I really hope that Abby and her teacher hit it off and learn a lot from each other.
Have fun at the open house tonight.


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