As many of you know, I used to teach in public school. Since having my 2nd son, I have been a stay at home mom and savored every minute of being at home with my boys and raising them, loving them, and being with them. And as those annoying moms used to tell me, it really does fly by and leave you wondering “What happened?!?”
As I send my oldest son to kindergarten I worry about the normal things moms worry about. I am already crying while I pack his book bag and label his supplies. I broke out the baby book and did some updates a few nights ago ( can you believe I tortured myself doing that too this week?!). I have been out and shopped for back to school clothes. I’ve spent some time on Pinterest looking for first day picture ideas and ways to prepare my son for the first day. But what about preparing me?! I feel like I worry about the normal stuff parents think about before sending off their kids to school. But as a former teacher, I worry about MORE. I know what the first days of school entail. I know how first impressions can mold the rest of the school year-shoot, they can mold teachers’ views of my child for his entire elementary career! I know how teachers think. I know how teachers talk about students to other teachers. I know too much…and I worry.
I worry about :
- Will my son make a good first impression?
- Will he listen and learn the routines?
- Will his teacher love him or will he be labeled “that kid”?
- Will his teacher get past his excessive talking to see how smart he is?
- Will his classmates like him or will he be the one the teacher has to defend?
- Will he be the one his teachers hope has frequent sick days?
- Will his teachers assess his skills correctly and put him in the right reading groups?
- Will his teachers have centers that will interest and challenge him?
- Will he grasp long and short vowels and fractions and time?
- Will he go to the bathroom to actually use the bathroom and not be one of those boys who have toilet paper fights, pee swords, or clogging toilet episodes (yes as a teacher I experienced all of these).
- Will he stay in his seat and not disrupt class?
- Will his teachers acknowledge that he’s bored when she is teaching things I have already taught him?
- Will he be a leader or a follower?
- Will his teacher send home work and keep a line of good communication with me?
- Will his teacher recognize that my frequent presence in the room is to help, not to bother?
- Will my son love his teacher?
- Will his teacher love him?
- Will my son love learning at school as much as he does at home?
So as the worries keep me up some nights, I know I have to let go. I have to trust in how I’ve raised my son, and be secure in the qualities and decision making skills I have tried to instill in him. I have to trust that God will place him in a teacher’s room who is trained to uphold high standards and who will love him as I loved my past students. Who will treat him equally and fairly. As I send my child to kindergarten I worry, but I also trust. And I know. I know I will be my child’s advocate and his teacher’s teammate. I know I will be present in his education and in his school. I know my son will love kindergarten and I know he will survive-and that his mommy will too.