Friday, August 17, 2012

When in doubt....

When in doubt.... go straight to the source!
That's what I learned this week and I'll tell you why....
As most of you know, Olivia will be starting kindergarten this year and I've been such a nervous wreck because of it... I never imagined this would make me so anxious...but it has.. and I've been dealing with my unexplained anxiety as best as I can...
This past Thursday I attended the school open house, where the parents (not the kids) had an opportunity to meet the teachers and tour the classrooms..
First I met Gaby's teacher.. Mrs. B.. and she was "ok".. not overly nice but not mean either.. She explained the classroom rules and such.. nothing too fancy...I know Gaby will love her new school (because she's just a loving child).. and that gives me peace of mind!
It was all fine and dandy until I walked into Olivia's classroom and met the infamous Mrs. S...OMG! I had heard a few things about her (not all good), but what I saw in the open house was a million times worse than I had imagined...
Let's just say my first impression was "This woman SHOULD NOT BE A TEACHER". She was mean and standoffish, spoke about the kids with disdain and didn't pay too much attention to what the parents had to say. Time with her during the open house was less than pleasant and it only helped to stress me out even more...She had a lot of silly rules and limitations, which usually don't go well with 5 year old kids!
I came home almost in tears and felt like such a I had chosen the wrong school, at the wrong time, like I had put my child in "harm's way" (a little dramatic.. I know!)
Keep in mind that we chose this private Catholic school for the kids over all public and charter schools available in the area and it took us a while to make the decision so I feel like if anything is wrong with this school, it's all my fault for not sticking with the county school board...I guess it remains to be seen!
I spent all night praying and looking for the positives... Maybe this teacher is just what Olivia needs?  Maybe she's just not a good public speaker? Maybe she was nervous? Maybe she'll change her ways once she meets my awesome daughter?  All of these things went through my mind and I hoped and prayed for a better day today...

Fast forward to today....
8am- Pre-K students were scheduled for a "meet and greet" with their teachers.. Gaby met Mrs. B and she seemed to be "ok" with her.. she wasn't jumping of joy or anything, but I'm sure that's normal for a 3 year old.. (or so I hope!)...She'll get used to her...I know that!
I peeked inside Mrs. S classroom, but she was nowhere to be seen.. Even though Kindergarten students weren't scheduled for a "meet and greet" I had secretly hoped I would see Mrs. S again.. not such luck!
Later in the day I had to drop by the school again to turn in some paperwork.. After my quick visit to the office I walked towards Mrs. S classroom and this time she was there! (lucky me!)
I doubted it for a second, but I finally knocked on her door and asked her if she had a minute..
Wow... this lady was like another person.. I thought to myself "is this the same *bitchy* teacher I met yesterday?".. could this be?  Maybe she was just having a bad day yesterday or maybe she is a bad public speaker after all?
While she wasn't pouring love and smiles all over me, I have to admit she was surprisingly pleasant  and considerate.. I told her a little bit about Olivia and a little about my anxiety and apprehension and she took the time to talk to me and humor me during this impromptu visit to her classroom.. (thank you, Mrs S!). So in this case, it was a good idea to go straight to the source (Mrs. S) and clear my doubts about her once and for all!
Now (unlike yesterday), I have HOPE and I'm EXCITED for the change and the new school.. For the first time I felt some reassurance and confidence.. I feel like Mrs. S can be a good thing for Olivia.. I feel like she will be a good fit for her and I'm happy I knocked on her door and decided to talk to her.. She was so much better when approached at the individual level.. She seems to really care.. and I really hope I'm right...
I know the stress and anxiety aren't over and I can only hope that everything will get better with the passing of time.. I know this is a stage and all kids are meant to go to school and learn new things, but as a mother, "letting go" is never easy.. I can only imagine how much I will "suffer" when Olivia goes to let's just not think about it... for now!

Happy Blogging!


I Just Love You said...

i've met rachel's preK teacher and i like her, thankfully, since we don't really have much of a choice. :/ i went to a catholic school from K-8th grade. there weren't a lot of lovey-dovey teachers but there were some really good TEACHERS. they had rules and expectations. they didn't let things slide. BUT they also encouraged us in things that we had interest in or excelled in. my 5th grade teacher and my 8th grade teacher were not the most pleasant people and they didn't dole out praise but when you did something that they thought was good and they told you it was good, you believed them and that made a much bigger impact. i think as parents we don't really see what our children can be capable of, i know i'm guilty of that, but some excellent teachers know that if you expect great things more than likely the kids will rise to the occasion and deliver.

Stories of a Happy Mom said...

Thank you, Maggie! I know you are right and I am confident that my kids will do great with whatever teacher they get. It's just that I'm so anxious about all this. I want to feel sure that I made the right choice with Catholic school..there's just so much going through my mind right now! I'm sure you know the feeling! :)
Thanks again for your kind words! :)

Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan said...

Now can you imagine living where I am and you get no choice in schools or teachers? We have one school here with 45 kids in it (total) that goes from pre-k to grade 12. Last year we had a horrible teacher for Hunter in his pre-k year. We made quite the fuss and she was slowly starting to improve. New teacher this year and his old one is moving up to teach grade 3/4/5. We are hoping that she leaves the community before Hunter has to have her again!

So glad your second visit with the teacher was so much better! I hope your girls have a great year.

Stories of a Happy Mom said...

Wow Kara! That must be tough!
Are you going to live there forever??
I hope you come across some nice teachers along the way!
Thanks for your comment! ;)