Thursday, August 19, 2010

8/19/2010 First day of school!

This was it! My 1st and 3rd graders!!

My pre-Ker wasn't into the photo party.

I brought the boys to school today, mostly just to see them off and to have a proud Mom moment -- and then to scoot off quickly for the sake of the teachers. Even first-grade teachers have to deal with some pretty freaked-out parents. Parents were all crowded around Julian's classroom, taking pictures, trying to go in to see their cubbies, reminding them about lunch.

One Dad told me he'd taken the entire week off of work, and had rehearsed his son walking from class to the CDC yesterday, but would pick him up today and tomorrow to take him on the 50-yard trip to the CDC. 99% of me shrugs at this, 1% of me wonders if I'm missing something -- should I be walking Julian to the CDC? I'd told him he had to walk there himself after class, and he said with his wonderful wide-eyed sincere look, "I know, Mom!" And I believe him.

By 3rd grade, things have calmed down, there was a lot less parent-helicoptering going on.

Julian brought home a sheet on which he'd written the 5 class rules today. I smiled at seeing that -- that's clever of the teacher, reinforcing the rules and getting an idea of how the whole class writes.

(As a note on "class rules" -- I like straightforward practical clear rules like "Keep your hands to yourself," but I never like ambiguous fuzzy rules like "Be kind." That's a broader goal in life, and even something as apparently benign as kindness has tradeoffs. I'm not selling my house to feed starving families in Africa, after all. Rules should address actions, not intent. But what do I know about running a room full of 6-year-olds.)

Sometimes it's hard describing to non-parents, or to people who parented my generation, why school is so much work nowadays. Let me give you an example. Both boys came home with "homework" for parents: a Student Emergency Card to fill out for the classroom, a list of missing school supplies, a request to describe your students' likes and dislikes, an enrollment health card for the school office, and a library contract that parents are supposed to review with their kids and sign. Never mind the homework Gabriel had too. It's relentless.

I didn't have much better luck with photos picking up from the CDC this afternoon. Still just 2 out of 3 cooperative.

Katrina surprisingly announced to a new CDC teacher: "When I'm done with pre-K, I'm going to CDC!" She's rarely so open with strangers.

Well I can't wait for Friday now -- I can thank school for that.


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