Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I cried at back to school night...

Ugh, even though I had an "extra" year, I don't think I'm ready! But now my qualms are about the school being ready for Henry, instead of Henry being ready for school.

Last Friday noon and Monday night we met all the other people I knew with kids going to that school (it's K-1 only) at the playground to play. Three of the Wabash parents had gotten post cards from the same teacher. There is one section of "A&E" (whatever that stands for) kindergarten, and I first thought they were in that section (since it tends to be populated with "faculty brats"), except the twins from Henry's preschool got the same teacher, and I know they aren't reading or as well behaved as Henry. I was ok with the idea that he wasn't in that section--I don't really want him labeled from the get go, or for school to be a pressure situation.

But tonight it really bugged me. We met his teacher--she was nice enough and had that "good kindergarten teacher" feel. But the room was decorated in stuff I know Henry can do (letters, numbers, colors) and the other kids couldn't write their names on their own, while Henry was reading the clues on his scavenger hunt on his own ("find your locker and practice opening it," "find the bathrooms across the hall; where is the nearest water fountain?" types of things). I knew in my head that 40% of the kids in our district come in not meeting basic expectations for entering K (knowing colors, shapes, numbers to 20, letters; being able to recognize and write your name), but it wasn't "real" until I saw the difference. How in the world can a teacher keep Henry occupied while working on those things with the rest of the class?? I know it's not a competition, but it just felt unfair that he was in this cass...and pregnancy hormones on an empty stomach are never useful(it was from 5-7 and we hadn't eaten dinner yet).

Patrick had a meeting at 7, so we dropped him off at home before going to Henry's choice of dinner (McD's). I didn't know it, but he went back and talked to the teacher and principal, so he might be switched. I know it shouldn't be a big deal, but I want him to have a good school experience, and this wasn't feeling like it!

The good news is that his teacher is a Christian and has kids his age. So prayers for a good experience for Henry and peace for me are appreciated :)


Emily said...

As we start our first day of school today as well, I'll definitely keep you (and Henry) in my prayers! And let me just say (in my teacher voice) that in every single classroom for the rest of Henry's life, you will see this discrepancy of what kids know coming into the classroom. It's the hardest part of our job, but one that I can honestly say most teachers are ready to tackle. Even though I have some kids coming to me that can read chapter books and some not knowing their alphabet, we find a way to make the classroom a challenging place for all of them to learn! I'll be praying his teacher knows exactly what Henry needs to have a great first year of school!!

Jen said...

My aunt teaches second grade and her daughter teaches middle school math and science...they both say the same thing as Emily. But, one of the joys they talk about, too, is finding ways to challenge kids that are bright. And, you were a bright student and I bet you have great memories of school being fun and interesting because your parents took a great interest in your education--just like you do with your kids. So many teachers talk about the success of a child's education being directly related to the amount of enthusiasm and interest their parents put forth. I'll be praying for you all today and for all the other kids who maybe don't have anyone cheering them on to their first day of school. ((Hugs!))

Unknown said...

Sending prayers your way, Ann. For you and for Henry. We haven't been thru this, so I can't say that I understand. But as a mom, I can relate to what you're feeling.