Wednesday, August 18, 2010

First day jitters

Today was the first day of Kindergarten. We've all been very excited about it. We walked to our neighborhood school and walked into the classroom. It was completely overwhelming. The teacher seemed uneasy and agitated. I expected that it was because there were so many parents and it was the first day. Then I heard someone ask how many kids were in the class . . . 39. We left a sobbing Samantha, obviously uncomfortable, and headed to parent orientation. Al and I were on the exact same wavelength (we're married for a reason)--we wanted to get Samantha and bolt. This shouldn't have been our reaction, but accepting one teacher and 39 5-year-olds is beyond normal comprehension.

We walked home trying to get her to give us her assessment. She didn't talk to any of the other kids and wouldn't talk about the classroom. Samantha shooed me out the door on the first day of preschool and pre-K. Crying and not sharing what she thinks is just not normal for her. We walked to my parent's house and Samantha took off to talk to Papa when I started to talk to my mom. Rather I sobbed. Firstly, 40 children in a class is not a learning environment that is acceptable. Secondly, Samantha missed 5 weeks of school last year because of her compromised immune system. How can she handle this? I left Samantha with my mom and Al propped me up as I sobbed all the way home.

We sat down and figured out tuition for Catholic school and we don't care if we never have cable or a home phone again. So we stopped by and picked up an application. We met the Admissions Adminstrator, introduced ourselves, and then Samantha suddenly lunges at her with a huge hug. Three years ago that is how Samantha picked Tanya, our daycare provider. Samantha knows where she feels safe, protected, and loved. So she has an assessment on Friday and hopefully we can start school on Monday. It will be a huge sacrifice, but we want to be part of her education and nuture her. For her this will be the best solution. I just have to trust my gut.

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