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August 14, 2009

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I haven't been here yet as mine is still in diapers so I am not sure what kind of torment I will unlease just yet but - I do know that sometimes things turn out better than expected and you mentioned some positives.

As for her relationship with the parents - I say head out of the gate on her good side and she'll be more likely to listen to you when you do need to address something. I've had to catch some flies with honey before with a co-worker who treated me like a child. Once I was not seen as someone to prove something too - then I was free to have an adult - adult - on the level relationship.

It sounds manipulative but it's also just a way to move past a person's walls and get to the level field.

OR - she may always be a pain in the - ahem and you can just hope that your kid likes her. My mom and MIL are teachers and you'd be suprised sometimes how an unlikely pairing turns out just right. My mom has always had a soft spot for stinkers even though she runs a tough class room.

I feel for you - good luck. Keep us updated.

oh and don't worry about wailing the first day - do it - you deserve it - just try to make it back to the car first

or wear sunglasses - I imagine you won't be alone.

I know just how you feel! Honestly, I didn't care for my oldest's kindergarten teacher at all, but my daughter loved her and still gets ecited every time she sees her. I'm glad she's got that positive relationship / positive start to school - no matter what kind of opinion I have of the woman.

And you will adjust to having him gone - faster than you think. I'm breaking up over sending my youngest to school this year, but I know from expedrience that I'll be find after a couple of days.

I feel ya. Letting go of my daughter's hand last year when she started Kindergarten was unbelievably hard for me. I took the day off from work so I could cry privately and pull myself together. It'll be okay.

I have so BTDT, all of it--the emotions, the indecision, the angst... My son is going into 7th grade and it's still hard for me to send him off on that first day of school.

I wore sunglasses his first day of K to hide my tears. He did not want to stay, and the classroom aide literally had to pry him out of my arms. He kept crying and reaching for me, and I had to pull myself together and march out of the room. I was carrying my 2 yo daughter, and as we walked away from the classroom we could his cries all the way down the hallway. My daughter was very concerned about this, and kept looking over my shoulder. Finally she said to me very solemnly, "Mommy, B is crying." I said "Yes, I know" and then I lost control and sobbed the rest of my way out of the building.

It was an ordeal, but he was fine, I was fine, and we survived. I still hate the first day of school, though. I seriously considered homeschooling, and did a lot of research when he was 3 and 4 years old, but ultimately decided that for our family, the local public school was the right choice. I haven't always been 100% thrilled with it, but I still think it's the right choice for us.

Forgot to address the teacher question. She sounds, ahem, interesting. One important thing to remember is that you shouldn't expect a mini conference with her every day at pick-up time (if you are picking him up from the classroom, that is). I have found that teachers are more than happy to schedule conferences, but they do not like to be delayed unexpectedly at the end of the day. If every parent wanted just one minute of her time after school, she'd be there for 20 minutes! So, respecting her time is a good rule to remember. Hopefully she uses email and will be willing to communicate that way.

As for the speaking to parents as if they were children...don't know what to say about that! I'm sure you'll figure out how to handle that just fine.

Oh I hope he loves it. Most kids do. I would agree with Tracy, that respecting her time is important. And just know that most teachers truly do want to work with their students' parents. The feet on the floor thing is weird and the talking to the adults like they're kids thing is weird, but if her kids usually love her, then it's probably deserved. And having friends in his class is huge. It is so hard to let them go, and wailing is perfectly fine. Good luck to you both!

I'm sorry I did not answer your email sooner. I've been MIA too long, I know.

I'm strange in that I never cry on the first days, only the last. I was a total complete mess the LAST day of Kindergarten, and every grade thereafter. Not because I loved school, but I was sitting there feeling as though any moment now, my little baby would be 53, have two grandchildren, and we'd be talking about what we wished we did. The time moves at a rate that almost can't be comprehended once school starts. The routine and weekly movements from Monday to Show and Tell day to Thanksgiving to Fun Friday to Winter music concert to Spring break to the last day of school...seem to create a vortex of speed. When I get to the last day of school, I feel disoriented, shocked, slapped in the face, and a bit scared.

My anecdote makes you feel much better, no?

I guess what I am trying to say is that the beginning of the year, for me, holds promise. I try to soak up every day. I try to make the school year move more slowly in intentional ways. I don't just herd the kids from school to homework to computer to tv to dinner to shower to bed, because when those days happen, it's as though they did not happen at all.

He will love it. He'll smell his new crayons and love the tiny Me-sized chairs, he'll marvel at how easy it is to reach the sink, and he will feel happy with all the colors in the room. If you take time to soak it all in along with him, it will take some of the sting out of it all.

I am thinking of you, Anne. It is hard.

Just remember, he always comes home to you.

Visty is a wise woman.

As for the teacher, I think you should write a note saying that you would like to volunteer your skills and she should let you know if there is any cutting or sorting you could do. Also volunteer your time if parent volunteers are allowed in during quiet reading time or something. Start there.

Also know that for your son, school will be about the moments with his peers. On the playground, during lunch, in art class. Those will be moments of growth and connection that happen if there is a good teacher or not.

It's okay that it's hard to let go of that little hand. Just don't let him see that it's hard for you. Make a chart that counts down the 2 weeks left until school. Let him put a sticker for each day. Help him feel involved and empowered for this "exciting" change. Do some role plays about how to ask to play a game a bunch of kids are already playing, maybe role play something he's nervous about - practice using a loud voice if he doesn't like something. Make a special lovey with a secret note inside for his cubby that he can squeeze if he needs a little extra strength (maybe make a vinyl pocket to put a family photo on the back or belly of the lovey).

Thoughts are with you. You are not alone. You are still the strongest force in your kiddos lives. You can do it! He CAN do it! ( I kind of suck at cheerleading)

These feelings won't go away. I go through it every year on the first day of school. Just remember, she can't hear what you're thinking...he,he. I also spent time every week in the classroom helping. I'm not sure if that was for the teacher's benefit or for mine. She was appreciative and it took away some of my anxiety. These feelings just mean you're a great mom. Good luck!!!

I feel exactly the same way..but you know what I"m worried about? My school send home a one sided letter, that looked like the envelope was addressed in crayon. All my friends have testing! and forms! and milk cards! I have an envelope written in crayon...

ahhhhhhhhh

Awwww stick in there... family is always going to be more important than school, so don't look at it as relinquishing anything... just a world-expansion for your little one. It's an adventure for him!

PS My mom felt just like you when I went off to school. So much so, she ended up homeschooling me for the next 12 years lol. I'm not giving a prescription by any means, but there are options for everything including schooling. ;P

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