Thursday, June 28, 2012

End of kindergarten

The end of the month is almost here and I realized I never posted two major June events, end of kindergarten and Ben's 6th birthday.

All of the kindergarten classes participated in the annual letter parade.  Ben was appropriately assigned V so out came the iron on transfers of V words including the Scooby Doo mystery machine van.  After the parade the room moms had prepared a 20 minute slide show in which Ben was running full speed in at least  3 pictures.  Go figure.

Teachers hosted breakfast and a gallery of students' best work. Yes it was a dog and pony show, but I appreciated the gesture.  I've written several times this year about how much we appreciated the teachers help and support.  At kindergarten trial day back in August I slipped two cards into Ben's backpack, each with a Bojangles gift card and a note that said, "please buy breakfast on me, thanks in advance for being Ben's first public school teacher."

Maybe I was subliminally prepping them for Ben as one of their more difficult students, maybe as a classroom teacher myself I just wanted to thank them for the time and effort they would put into my child.  Ben spent more awake hours in their presence than ours and I valued their judgement and help as we moved through the many difficulties and successes.

By the end of year I feel like we journeyed a million miles.  While we are very much on a continued quest for the right medication and behavior plan, I have his teachers to thank for helping us throughout the year identify specific problems.

Needless to say I was a hot mess watching Ben celebrate the end of year and saying goodbye to his teachers.  I was sobbing to the point I had to walk out and instead of thanking each teacher in person I resorted to the fine art of the thank you note.

Before the end of the year we asked for a 1st grade placement, help with a summer tutor, and suggestions on how to make the most academically over the summer.  His teacher offered to meet me on one of the workdays after the school year was over.  She asked Mrs. D, our tutor, to also come to help ease Ben's transition to a new teacher.  Maybe I should have brought each a giant Bonjangles sweet tea?

Instead I hugged his teacher and thanked her.  Most likely in a 12 year span of public school teachers Ben will not mesh with some of the teachers who will teach him.  I'm sure with a diagnosis attached to his file I'm going to have to fight harder against misconception.  I'm the first to tell you that burn out is pervasive in this career, even at good schools with a solid administration. Even really great teachers have off years. Being on the inside of this districts helps, but it also colors how I see my role as a parent.  Better advocacy for my own kid as well as those I teach has been a positive out of the difficulty of this year.

We were very lucky this year not to be written off as a problem kid with overbearing parents.  Starting school within days of my mom's death, followed by a return to full time work, as well as two major surgeries, you can say I needed someone on our side.

Thank you Mrs. S and Mrs. R.  I hope you know how much we appreciate you.

1 comment:

LauraC said...

Oh my gosh, took the words right out of my mouth about this year with Alex.