Education: the other side

Standard

No, this is not anything political. It’s about approaching the education system from two different perspectives. I taught for three years before I had Sasquatch. I was a first grade teacher in a Title 1 school district where all the other first grade teachers left…leaving me in charge of the entire first grade team my first year of teaching ever. I once had 33 students in my class, with no aid, while trying to put four kids through the special education process. (I even had the school psychologist come up to me after testing one of them and tell me he had psychological problems she had never seen before). I loved every one of those kids. They all had their struggles and their strengths. It taught me a lot about patience and letting a kid blossom in their own time and such. I also knew the importance of parents. They should not be observers in their child’s education and THEY are the ones who are essential…not necessarily the teacher. This is not to say the teacher doesn’t matter, because a teacher is important. But I’ve seen brilliant students struggle to pass first grade because of what was going on at home…and I’ve seen kids with learning disabilities thrive because their parents were communicating with me daily and partnering with me to teach them the same things at home. As a teacher I was truly grateful for the involved parents who would help out. Our PTA was awesome and worked hard to help out our school any way they could.
I no longer teach (in an official capacity) and now my oldest has just started kindergarten. I joined the PTO at the end of the year last year and am on the board. Today, I got to help out Urpling’s preschool teacher (yes, she is also in school…in the same building as Sasquatch even…you can read about that here) by cutting out various laminated things. I love to be able to bless teachers the way parents had blessed me.
It is weird though, having no idea what my daughter is doing for half the day. As you can see by my Stories with Sasquatch posts (I already have plenty to add to this weeks addition and it’s only day 2 of the week) that getting an accurate description of what goes on is like interpreting what a drunk man overheard a strung out guy said to his doped up neighbor (okay, maybe not really…it’s usually worse). I know enough about what goes on in the classroom to ask the right questions so I get an idea of what goes on during her day, but I now understand why parents were so keen on having so many details about what we were doing. It wasn’t a lack of trust in me…it was sheer curiosity and a need to still be part of their kids lives.
So I guess what I want to say is first…teachers: Be patient with clingy parents. We’ve been with them every step of the way and are adjusting to not having our kids lives so fully intertwined in ours.
To the parents: It’s tough letting go of our little ones…but if you really want to know what’s going on in your school…get involved! I have yet to find a PTA/PTO that says, “Naw, don’t come help…we have waaaaaaaay too many volunteers right now”. It really is the best way to know what things are happening in the school, and with your kiddos.
And so my next great adventure is beginning, with school days, set schedules, homework, friends I’ve never met, and separation from my babies. Can’t wait!

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