Thursday, March 08, 2012

overhead projectors are amazing, and other kindergarten thoughts

The best part of kindergarten so far, for Jane

So, yesterday was Jane’s second kindergarten orientation meeting. A lot of people have been telling me they can’t believe our district holds so many meetings, but to be honest, I’m happy for it. Having the kids go in monthly to get used to the classrooms and the teachers will hopefully pay off in September with fewer tears (for the kids – don’t worry, I’ll be crying like a maniac. Please send wine.).

ANYWAY, in February we had the first meeting that the kids came to as well (January was just the parents meeting). And, if you recall, Jane had a fit and I had to stay in the classroom with her, instead of going upstairs with all of the other parents. And of course I totally get she was uncomfortable hanging out with a teacher and a bunch of kids she didn’t know at all – and certainly didn’t want to be abandoned – and, let’s face it, I’m super-cool and I assume everyone feels sad when I leave them – but I just wanted her to be OK with it, you know? It seemed like all of the other kids had absolutely no problem, which was kind of shocking to me, actually. I just want her to be happy, and feel safe. I have so many feeeeeelings about this. And a lot of them are stomachache-inducing. Don’t worry – I project none of this on her.

So we’ve been gearing her up for weeks about yesterday’s meeting. We promised her that she could go ice skating with Greg if she was brave and strong and stayed in the classroom herself and let us go up to the parents’ meeting. She was cool going in, but she started to wobble once we go into the crowded classroom with unfamiliar people (and this time she was with the other teacher, so even that part wasn’t familiar). As the parents were leaving, her eyes started filling up and I could see we were going to go down the same weepy path again – until I caught the teacher’s eye, and she asked Jane if she wanted to hold her hand. As soon as that happened, Jane took the teacher’s hand, put on her brave face and waved us goodbye. (Side note: I really like both teachers so far, but this one reminds me of Fran Drescher slightly, in a very positive way. So she has the edge, not that we have a choice.)

And after a 45-minute meeting on the school budget, a typical kindergartener’s day, and plans for upcoming orientation meetings, we headed back to the classrooms to scoop up the kids. There was Jane in the pack with the rest, absolutely fascinated by the overhead projector the teacher was using to show them some artwork. So much so that she asked for one for Christmas. (Which was the perfect opportunity to tell her that Santa doesn’t bring overhead projectors – that’s something special that kindergarteners get to use.)

I love how much this school does to get the kids and parents geared up for kindergarten. I know it’s going to be rough (because I know Jane), but I couldn’t expect more out of the school and faculty in terms of easing the students in to the shocker that is public school.

Oh! And I put myself on the mailing list for the PTO. Which feels like the most grown-up thing I’ve ever done IN MY LIFE.

Here’s hoping next month goes as well….

PS They should really serve cocktails at budget meetings. Just sayin’.


Dwayne "The Train" said...

Holy shit. They still use overhead projectors?! We live in 2012, people! Come on!

PS: I think you have a drinking problem.

Tracy said...

i can only hope it is this nice when my pumpkin goes to school. i am going to have a hard time. but reading about your experience makes it not so daunting!