Wednesday, September 12, 2007

finding your way........

Yesterday, I popped into my son's school to touch base with the Vice Principal about the parent's meeting that was held last night. Normally, I am in and out of the school on a regular basis but for some reason, this was my first visit of the year. I arrived just before the end of school bell was to ring for the younger grades. Because it was drizzling outside, the little ones were lined up along the hallway of the front foyer waiting for their buses. The newbies with their very first backpacks hugging their backs.......sitting on the floor. They looked exhausted from a long day of new. Their once clean duds were ready for the laundry.....from art and lunch and running around at recess. Hair was askew and eyelids were droopy.

new new new

I wanted to take them all home with me and tuck them in for an afternoon nap while Raffi played quietly in the background. So little they are at this time of year.......some only 4 and a half years old.

Their teacher, who was meant to be a kindergarten teacher through and through (and is STILL my son's favourite teacher even though he's now in the highest grade at this school......Grade 5) still had some spark left in her as she welcomed me with exhuberance when I walked through the front door. She then introduced me to her class in her singing upbeat voice.

"This is Mrs. ............ everyone. She's part of our Garden Creek family, just like you are."

There's nothing like feeling that warm sense of belonging. And, once again, I got that overwhelming feeling that I should be there all day everyday. Yes, if I had my druthers, I would be running that little school and teaching Grade 1. That's the perfect grade as far as I'm concerned. Grade 1. How much keener do they get than being 6 years old in Grade 1?

The Kindergarten teacher pointed out a little girl sitting at the end of the line. Adorable, with a blonde bob-cut, her bangs a little too short, big blue eyes, she sat quietly looking around. Turns out it was her first day at school. She got off the bus yesterday morning and made it onto the playground before the bell rang and wandered around until an older child took her by the hand to the Grade 2 class.

No one knew who she was. No one was expecting her. CAN YOU IMAGINE??

This kindergarten teacher was summoned..........she found this lost little one trembling in the Grade 2 class not knowing a soul. A flurry of phone calls ensued and they found out who she was and whom she belonged to. I have no idea who messed up here (yet.........) but it seems like it was a HUGE mix up in communication. What sticks out like a big sore on the scraped knee is that this child's parents thought it was alright to stick their 5 year old on a bus to start her life in the education system without even a visit to the school. AND it happened a week after school started.

This little one's luck changed the moment she was in the hands of this marvellous teacher, whose heart hugged her with love and concern. The class rallied around her with welcome arms. Everyone made a fuss over her. Even the older child who had found her on the playground dropped by to see if the little one was alright......and asked the teacher.....

"Are we going to be able to keep her?"

At the end of the day, just before the class lined up to walk down the stairs from their classroom in single file to catch their buses home, the little one went up to the teacher with a smile and said:

"It's been a good day."

Welcome to Garden Creek School little one. You'll be watched over now.


Shaz said...

This makes me angry and then releived that this little girl found her way to such a lovely teacher. xx
I wouldn't let my 12 year old catch the bus her first day of school, I am just stunned by some peoples lack of for thought for the welfare of their children.

Awareness said...

Shaz...I'm with you....both anger and relief. It makes me wonder about all the lost little souls out there without that safety net. Too many.........

There has to be another side of ths story. This little one showed no signs of neglect outwardly and she interacted and connected with everyone in her class, which makes me think there may be a dropped ball on the school side too. I'm wondering if the parents contacted the school district office who in turn didn't pass on the info to the school or something. I'm sure I'll hear the rest of the story sometime this fall. Because I'm around there quite a bit for the Home and School Committee stuff and because the teacher's know my training background and where I work, I'm informally consulted from time to time.

Awareness said...

oh, and I'm nosey. lol.

And.....once I get over to the school, I end up hanging out with the little gaffers.

BreadBox said...

In many respects it's a lovely story -- since it turned out well -- but it seems to me that it would be sensible to insist that the parents bring the child along to the teacher the first time that the child is going to meet a new important adult, to say: "this is someone we trust you with", to pass the reins of authority to,...
Even if it is the first day of school, so that the child knows where to be and who to turn to.


Awareness said...

Hi N. Yes.......and that's normally the process. The school bends over backwards to accomodate the parents and new houses, information sessions etc start this fall for next year. Phone calls, letters etc go out to the parents. Meet the teacher night is arranged the first week back so parents have the chance to touch base with the teachers and to learn teaching and learning styles stuff.
I hope the school insisted that these parents get their sorry asses over there this week to make sure everyone is on the same page.

yes, it did end well....thank God. Unfortunately most of these stories dont. Neglect is a silent killer.