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"Pace is all. Rhythm is master. Consistency is your friend."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Life Lesson #158: Teachers Have Lives, too

My young, sensitive son has been doing quite well after two weeks of preschool. He's been a little timid at recess, according to "Miss Shani" he's been shadowing her in between trips down the slide or a quick run from one end of the wood chips to the other, but the tears of separation have pretty much dried up.

I'm glad he's formed such an attachment to his teacher because he's still very shy with the other children. They say hi to him in the morning when we're dropping off, but he grabs my hand or leg and tries to hide behind me or his dad instead of simply saying hi back. He was also having a lot of trouble the first week with missing his family. We gave him a picture of the four of us from this summer's vacation to keep in his backpack and then take out for those moments when he felt lonely. (His idea, by the way. He says when he sees the picture "it isn't so bad.")

But things have settled in quite nicely and more quickly than I thought they would considering how shy he is. He came home yesterday and told me excitedly that he played with one little girl at recess and they did an activity together involving matching squares. There's another little boy that he talks a lot about although he's said that he's still kind of shy (his description) around him, too. But if you ask him if he likes school, he says "I don't like school, I LOVE school!!!"

So I was somewhat disheartened when I saw the little note in his backpack this afternoon stating that "Miss Shani" would be absent from school for the remainder of the week. She has a little boy of her own who is starting school tomorrow and then has some mandatory training sessions to attend on Thursday and Friday. And "please inform your child that I will be back to school on Monday." Great. This will be almost as bad as breaking the news of the death of Black Nose. Super great.

So I told him this afternoon that "Miss Shani" would not be in school tomorrow or for the next two days, BUT that she couldn't wait to see everybody again on Monday! "But I don't want Miss Shani to have a day off!!!" And so the sobbing began.

Now, some of the tears could definitely be chalked up to sleepiness. Getting used to this routine, to any routine really, has been an adjustment in and of itself. After I read two books before bed, one chosen by each of my sons, it takes all of seven minutes for him to fall sound asleep; and I mean, heavy breathing, mouth gaping wide open and all.

But later when he was getting a bath he broke down again saying that he didn't want to go to school tomorrow, he didn't want another teacher and the tears reappeared. I tried to explain that she wasn't going to be gone forever, that she would be back in a few days and that the new teacher would do things just like "Miss Shani" does with the same songs and recess and storytime and circle time . . . no good. I explained that "Miss Shani" has a little boy of her own and that she wanted to take him to school for his first day just like I took him on his first day because "Miss Shani" is a teacher and a mommy, too.

"I don't want Miss Shani to be a mommy anymore . . . I just want her to be my teacher!"

He got to bed without further incidence. We read our stories, he fell asleep almost before his head hit his blue pillow . . . But I have a feeling we'll be back to square one tomorrow morning. I hope "Miss Shani" can live with herself. Really, the nerve.

But if it doesn't go so well the next two days, I may have to teach him Life Lesson #159: Skipping school. A special trip is already planned to see his best buddy on Friday after school so maybe we'll just leave a little early . . . SSSSHHHHH . . . Don't tell :)

Update: Lots of tears this morning. I had a tough time keeping it together myself. He said he was going to miss me and didn't want to go even as he was sobbing down the hallway without me. It was very hard. But when I went to pick him up at lunchtime he was smiling and said "I love school again! and I didn't even cry at recess!"

He likes the sub although he says that when "Miss Shani" comes back he's going to tell her that he missed her. He made a couple of new friends today and said that he and one other little boy had a great time at recess playing together. "I even introduced myself and told him my name! And he said he already knew it!" Amazing, isn't it? I was in knots all morning and he was making friends with his gorgeous smile.

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At 9/13/2006 01:20:00 AM, Blogger cherylann said...

hey... you're not allowed to skip school unless it's opening day. or if we need a nap, or ir we need to drink wine coolers at dawn's house. hahaha. dammit. that still cracks me up about danielle and skip day. anyway...

poor liam... so many changes to get used to. he needs a vacation!

At 9/15/2006 07:37:00 AM, Blogger MuseinMeltdown said...

What a lovely reminder of how children have this capacity to accept - I wish I could recapture that simplicity in my life !!

This tale really haunted me... Miss Shani ...ahh the name thing.

hugs Ms Shani from over the Atlantic.

At 9/15/2006 09:05:00 AM, Blogger Linus said...

I used "Miss Shani" as to protect the anonymity of the innocent ... You never know who reads these things!

And since her real name sounds like yours, I thought, Miss Shani it is!

And btw, the skipping school lesson will have to wait - he'll probably have to discover it on his own. (Which will probably be sooner than I think!) He got up excited this morning, although he checked in with me to make sure this was the last day of his new teacher :)


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