Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Goodbye, Preschool...Hello, Kindergarten!
Today I stand as a proud mom, watching a chapter close in my son's life. We are saying goodbye to his wonderful preschool and all the friendly faces there. He walks away without looking back...ready to face all that lies ahead. I'm not sure if he really knows what to expect, but he has come to a place of understanding and resolution that Kindergarten will begin in just 5 more days. And, I suppose that I have as well.
Judson was an amazing place for us all to grow. Jack entered Judson in the summer of 2005, having just turned 3, needing a lot of support, a backpack full of diapers, special snacks (some things don't change!) and lots of comfort, understanding and love. He still had so much growing to do! His first teacher there, Miss Penni, was a first year teacher and was full of compassion and drive to be an awesome teacher for Jack. She asked lots of questions and was always willing to try anything! We went through 3 aides that year until we found Miss Linda, who loved Jack with all her heart. She was the perfect support person for him at that time in his life. It made me feel so comfortable to leave him, even on days when he dug his heels in outside the classroom door, because she truly cared for him like he was her own. I got my first taste of preparing and executing an IEP meeting (s). There was so much to learn!
Four year preschool began with a big bump as Miss Linda left Metro just a few weeks into the school year. I lost my footing for a bit, worrying about Jack and how he would handle so much change. But Miss Tama filled the gap and, in the end, it was the best thing for Jack. It forced Miss Tama to step in and become Jack's primary teacher. That set a precedent that has never changed. Jack began to take direction from his teacher in all situations. He became increasingly social and independent that year. His aide changed often and he handled it with ease!
5 year preschool was his time to blossom. Miss Pam was amazing. She encouraged us to let Jack fly 'solo' for the second semester without his aide. We were all so proud when that move proved successful and Jack finished the year independent, social and so well liked. He had developed true friend relationships with a few of the boys in the class and they spent time playing together outside of school. It was hard to say goodbye this Spring to that class. The kids were all so wonderful and supportive and the class had a great synergy.
Summer session this year was 8 weeks long on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-2. Jack enjoyed his teacher, Miss Amanda (Miss Tama's daughter), and had a great time seeing his friends at Judson each week. He will miss terribly the gym, where many a mile was spent racing around on bikes and motorcycles as well as the playground, with the famous hill.
We're armed with a new backpack, new lunchbox, new Standard School Attire, old shoes (his choice), a tiny bit of confidence and a bit more of anxiety over what the new school and Kindergarten has in store for our little guy. He's growing up! Miss Ward called today to introduce herself and to invite Jack to tour the classroom on Friday. She was the teacher we were praying for. She seems like a great fit for Jack's personality! We look forward to a great year with her and the rest of the class.