Warning: When I wasn't looking, this post turned into a novel. Sorry. You can skip it if you want. It's for my own records anyway.
Day one is done and both girls came home happy yesterday. They're on separate bus runs now that the Princess is one of the big kids (how did that happen?) so I got to talk to them separately. I had the idea that I'd give them the same mini-interview and report back...but for once they had more important things to talk about.
Sweetpea is in Grade One this year. Mostly. She comes home first and yesterday she was all smiles. The first thing she said was "Mama, Mrs _________ was hardly grumpy at all today!".
I can tell you THAT was a relief. You see, being a really great reader, she was ahead of the curve last year in Kindergarten. So much so that they had to issue a gag order. She wasn't allowed to answer any questions until the teacher had talked to the rest of the class. She whipped through all the books available in the room by the second month and was left wiggling in her seat. So she started visiting one of the Grade One rooms daily for their reading and language arts time. Back in May I was talking to her Kindergarten teacher and was surprised to learn that she had been placed in the OTHER Grade One room for September. "Wouldn't it make more sense to put her where she's already well known to the teacher?" I wondered aloud. I was told they could switch her and said yes please--based solely on the reasoning that this teacher already knew her abilities and a new teacher would have to spend time getting to know her. Even though I know and really like the other teacher (she taught Princess) and don't actually know the one I've just asked her to stay with. It made sense at the time.
BUT THEN....then I found out that every single one of her best friends had been placed in this other class, the one I had just moved her OUT of. Oops. So now I'm feeling like bad mom. But this is ok. Sweetpea is our social one, our butterfly. She has never met a stranger and won't have a problem making new friends.
EXCEPT...over the summer the girls started talking about how this teacher (who I don't know) is SOOOOO grumpy! And she yells! Bad mom indeed. And I'd asked for this teacher? What had I done? Sweetpea assured me that the teacher had never yelled at HER, only her old class. Like that's supposed to make it better? Is it too late for me to change my mind and switch her back?
So yesterday's news that Mrs _________ was hardly grumpy at all came as a HUGE load off my mind. (But then again, what teacher is grumpy the first day? Really!) Sweetpea further thinks that Mrs __________ is not REALLY grumpy, she just had a class last year that "didn't listen at all". Oooookay then. Let's hope Sweetpea's class is full of VERY good listeners!
In the meantime, Sweetpea loves her classroom, loves her new classmates, loves that she got to do some finger painting yesterday. The grumpiness issue has been resolved in her own mind and she's excited about the new year.
I asked her what she did on the first day of school. She couldn't remember. Did she do some reading? No. Math? No. Science? No.
So WHAT did you do?
"Mostly we just sat on the floor a lot and listened."
Open House in one week. I plan to get a better feel for things there and talk curriculum. I'm actually thinking that it wouldn't take much extra work at home to have our Sweetpea slip sweetly and seamlessly into a Grade Two room in short order, either part time or all the way.
(And yes, I met the teacher before school started, though we didn't get much of a chance to talk. She seemed perfectly lovely to ME, but I'm not a 6 year old. We'll see how it goes. I am the Queen of making mountains out of molehills. If Sweetpea is happy, I'm happy too.)
In no time Sweetpea skipped cheerfully off to play and Princess was home with an extra little swagger--apparently she is super cool now that she rides the bus with the high schoolers. (YIKES!) She's happy to be back with her friends, happy to be speaking French again (I had to remind her to switch back to English! Score!) and just so proud to be in Grade Three at last. She gets to begin peer helper roles and play on the equipment reserved just for the older kids. Apparently Grade 3 is the start of a whole new world and she's loving it.
She LOVES her teacher--and so do I. FIrst of all, I've known her a few years now through scrapbooking forums without realizing until last year that she teaches at OUR school (even on forums you've got to be careful to not reveal too much). So I already know and like her and we share that connection. But yesterday my sweet Princess came home from school eager to tell me all about the DESK FAIRY, who leaves fairy dust and treasures in especially neat and tidy desks (but stays far away from messy desks). Brilliant. An instant win with my girl AND I. There was no homework today (for her---I certainly had to fill out enough forms!) but she has her very first agenda book that they write their assignments in each day and have the parents sign when they're finished. It totally added to how very grown up she's feeling these days and further endeared her teacher to my slightly OCD heart.
It was a good day for her too, though she wouldn't share a lot of details (and so it begins....). She's in a split grade this year and I'm a little worried about that (I was only in a split once and I didn't do so well personally....not a very independent worker) but she thinks it's great. I was afraid she'd miss the intimacy of her little class of 10 but instead she's excited by the possibilities of new friendships. She was starting to get some mild bullying from one of the girls last year too (why are girls so mean?) and will find it easier to ignore her with more people around. In fact I asked her if she'd had any trouble and she said "Oh, I just didn't talk to her". Works for me.
So there's the super sized school report of '09. Today I'm cleaning closets and getting my Boy ready. Hopefully HIS report will be as filled with smiles and rainbows.