Last Wednesday was the first day of kindergarten for Will. We three walked the mile to his new school with some neighbors and their kids. It’s a yearly ritual and a nice way to start off the new school year.
The boy handled the life changing event pretty darn well. No tears. Clearly, this kid has a lot of experience with “change” so he can deal with it. The last week before school started we discussed his expectations and fears around the start of school, several times. As the first day approached, he wanted to talk more about it.
A typical exchange would begin with something like, “dad when you started kindergarten were you scared? Or, “dad, when you started kindergarten, did you make friends?
I answered ‘yes’ to both questions. But, then I tried to remember the names of some of my friends in kindergarten…I think the teacher was Ms. Jones but can’t recall a single friend or student from that class. In first grade, I clearly remember my good friend Tommy Rickenbacker but not sure if we were tight in kindergarten.
Will’s school has four classes of kindergarten. Not sure if that is normal but seems like a lot. Also, sadly, he has 27 kids in his class. This is the maximum allowed under the teacher’s union contract. A just ONE teacher. That is ridiculous and the number one issue I have against public schools. Fortunately, parents do volunteer to assist in the classroom and I plan to sign up for a few hours per week.
Luckily, a neighbor’s daughter had Will’s teacher two years ago and loved her. So, we’re pleased with his assignment. Also, there was a new student ‘parents’ meeting in the cafeteria after the bell rang. I was pleasantly surprised to see a good number of dads in attendance. The PTA president, the school principal, assistant principal and counselor all spoke briefly. The principal seemed tired already, which I can understand. Can’t imagine the stress of that job.
Here’s to a successful, first year of school.