One of my favorite sayings is, “I was a really great parent before I had kids.” I guess I could also say, “I was a really great teacher before I had kids.” as well. This whole sending my son to “big boy” school is something else. One would think that having a degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in ages birth to age 8 and 14 years of teaching experience would prepare me for sending my son to school, but I feel like such an amateur it is incredible. First, I had no idea what to do when my son sobbed on the first day of school and wouldn’t let me go. I cannot even count how many times as a teacher I have held that sobbing child while a mom or dad leaves and, never did I once imagine how absolutely awful that parent must have felt. I was simply thinking about how to engage the child and end the tears. If just one day- just one time, I took a crying child out of someone’s arms, I could have felt what they felt, I would have been a better teacher. I went to a parent’s night of sorts tonight at my son’s school. I had a gazillion questions– “How do I teach him handwriting?” “Is he ready even learn sight words when he doesn’t even know all his letters?” “Will he ever know how to count past 14 and stop saying eleventeen?” The questions went on and on. And how many times did I answer those very same questions for the parents of my students? I know all the answers, but suddenly, when it became about my son, I was lost.
Thankfully, my son’s teacher seems like a great guy. I love his attitude about school being fun. He said, “Let me do the teaching and you just enjoy your child.” Yes! He used words like “fun” and “relaxing” and most importantly he told us not to worry. As I listened to him talk, I began to relax. I put my faith in his teacher’s hands. My son is going to be fine. He is going to have fun in at at school and learn a heck of a lot along the way. He will learn. And, one day he may even stop crying and go to school with a smile. As for me, I am hoping that one day the teacher in me will meet up with the parent in me and find some happy, middle ground where they both can live and learn from one another.