The year we had two first days of school was pretty crazy. You won’t believe the drama, but stick around until the end to see how it all turned out.
Today was the second First Day of School for Lil’ Wheezy, my five-year-old son.
Yes, it’s the end of September here too. Now before you jump to confusion, let me clarify. We already had our first First Day of School back in August, like everyone else. But there’s been a bit of drama at the school so here we are, trying again.
Flash back to this past summer…
We received our back-to-school letter in the mail letting us know that Lil’ Wheezy would get to participate in a special new type of class this year: the bridge class. Due to budget cuts, there would be three regular kindergartens and three regular first grades. One brave teacher would get to do double-duty though. Lil’ Wheezy and a handful of other kids would be in a classroom that had both kindergarten and first grade together.
Lil’ Wheezy took this to mean that he could skip kindergarten. To be honest, I thought he might just be right. This will be fun, right?
Moving along to the day before Meet the Teacher Night…
We received another letter in the mail welcoming us to a kindergarten-only class. Wait, was there a time-turner on the school supply list…?
After a quick call to the school, I discovered that there were too many kids and the aforementioned bridge class would just be first grade. Lil’ Wheezy and the other bridge class kindergarteners were added to an already-full kindergarten class. He was one of 30.
We met the teacher on Meet the Teacher Night. She is amazing, and easily adjusted to the switch. The first day – and week – of school went off without a hitch.
Once school started…
Behind the scenes, the school board (or whoever is in charge of this mess) was hard at work. Here in Texas you cannot legally have more than 22 children per teacher. So we were sent home a letter about every other day with updates. Naturally, rumors abounded.
The school was going to apply for a waiver from the state. No, the school was going to add a teacher’s aide in the classroom of thirty. That lasted a week. The school was going to finally get the money to hire another teacher.
First they asked for volunteers. Would you volunteer your child to move to yet a third teacher? I asked him and his response was naturally ambiguous. I mean, he’s five.
“I don’t want to move. I like Mrs. B…. but the new teacher will be nice too?”
Back and forth he went, as I’m sure most of the other families did. Our daily pickup routine became my chore of avoiding the other kindergarten parents trying to convince me that their Precious would just keel over if they had to move. Someone needed to volunteer. Finally, yesterday, the school drew names by lottery. A letter came home, this time in an envelope with our name on it.
“Thank you so much for your patience…”
Today I walked Lil’ Wheezy into the building. Sniffles ran ahead to help her teacher with an errand. We went to his “old” locker and gathered his belongings. We walked down to the “new” classroom, where they have lockers inside the classroom that they don’t have to share. A perk?
Soon we were chatting with the new teacher, surrounded by familiar friends and parents. All the kids were excited. I think I only saw one kid crying. They had spent the past week – before the lottery – with the whole class visiting the new teacher in groups. Just like on the first First Day of School, Lil’ Wheezy plopped himself down at the table with his friends and immediately forgot I was there.
Now he is one of twelve. Twelve excited kids who get to start fresh with a brand-new teacher. Twelve happy families who no longer have to check for letters each day, wondering what is coming next.
I think I’ve had enough excitement for this school year.
*End of year update*
While the year might have started off a bit… ahem… bumpy, it turned out to be a good one. Lil’ Wheezy learned all the fun kindergarten things, like colors and sharing and walking in a line.
I learned something too.
Kids are really resilient. What might seem like the end of the world to a helicopter-ish mom is really not that big of a deal. They bounce back from setbacks and overcome challenges.
Ultimately, on the first day of college, they aren’t going to remember a small bump in the road. There will be years of good memories between kindergarten and college.
I can’t never let anything ever happen to him.