Tuesday, 16 July 2013

A good meeting

Yesterday was a good day. Or, to be precise, a good night. Because we - the parents of the kids that are going to go to school in September - had a meeting at the school where we met the teachers that are going to teach our kids.

I was quite nervous because, you know, that school thing... I am just so anxious as to how it will go on, will Sunny have as loving and caring teachers as he now has in kindergarten, will he have only new classmates or is he going to be together with some of his kindergarten friends,... So the meeting yesterday was a big deal for me.

The school had prepared a nice setting in the garden of the school with garden chairs, tables, some soft drinks and fresh fruit for us. When I arrived there the teachers were already waiting for us. We introduced ourselves, then came the principal and the vice-principal. The atmosphere was relaxed and lighthearted.

The meeting started with a short introduction by everyone. I was happy to learn that two of Sunny's kindergarten friends will attend the same class as Sunny. I was especially happy about one boy that is "very important" to him, as the kindergarten teacher just recently told me. Then came the bureaucratic stuff and after that we made our rounds through the classrooms, talked about the materials we should get for the beginning of school like e.g. which kinds of coloured pencils are best, stuff like that.

I found some time to talk to Sunny's future teacher. She is a young, sweet lady who was curious to learn some things about him and his personality. There were two issues very important to me that I wanted to address shortly:

1) The talker. I am under the impression that it is only rarely used in kindergarten and I really would like that to change. She was excited to learn that he has a dynamic talker and we agreed to exchange e-mail addresses because I told her I would program new pages for her in order for her to use the talker more often. All I need her to do is to send me the symbols that I need for the new pages. She totally agreed on the talker and told me that she thought of this as something important, too.

2) I am planning on starting a communication journal. When your child does not speak it is so difficult to learn anything about his everyday life when he is away. I never know what they did in kindergarten, if he liked it or not, all those things. Sure, sometimes there is a short note in our communication book but not very often. It makes me sad. And Sunny also does not have any biography. He can never go back and tell me "Mama, do you remember when we did this and that? That was so awesome!" A communication journal will give him a biography which is so important to me. However, when I mentioned this to the teacher while I observed the fourth grade in June she told me something along the lines of "we don't have time for stuff like that" and I was so mad and sad about that. Since then I have been thinking of ways how to prepare as much for such a com journal as possible in advance so that the teacher will not have to spend much time on it and will be more willing to do it. Fast forward to yesterday night. I told the new teacher about my idea and guess what she said? "Oh, I have already been planning on doing something like that anyway!" The heavens opened and the sunbeams hit me right on the spot. I preached to the converted!! I was so happy! We immediately exchanged ideas on how she was planning to do it and what I had been thinking of... it was just amazing.

The meeting with this new person in Sunny's life filled me with so much hope that there is good to come. She seems enthusiastic, caring, dedicated, and very kind. I was so thankful when we talked that I started to cry (OMG why am I crying all the time for no real reason??). Can you imagine something more embarrassing than crying in front of your son's new teacher on the first occasion you ever meet her?? I wonder what she thinks about me now. I wanted to disappear into thin air.

But this whole school thing is filled with so many emotions for me, so many fears of the unknown. It takes so much trust that I have to give someone in advance; it is simply not easy for me. Having a child that does not speak and that cannot tell you if he is treated well or not makes it so much more difficult.

However, I have a good feeling about his new teacher and I hope I will not be disappointed. I drove home happily and relieved yesterday night.



10 comments:

  1. Oh wow. Joy. I am so happy for you. To have that relief. To be able to sleep last night with a peaceful heart.

    We use a communication book with Boo. It was slow going, until she received her aide. Now we "hear" everyday how she did, who she may have played with, what went on in the class. It is also important, because while gross, we need to know how the bowel issues are going this week.

    It is also important because I can write in what we did in therapy with her, so we won't be working on JUMP while they are working on sitting. If you get my meaning.

    Again, my friend, I am so happy for you!

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    1. Thank you so much, my dear!! I can feel how happy you are and that feels so good! :-)

      Please do share some pics of the communiciation book with me, please please please!

      xoxoxo

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  2. I am so happy for you! it's great to have that "good" feeling about someone, specially when that someone is going to be taking care of your son.

    Oh Joy, I have cried n front my daughter's teacher more than once (not the first time I met her though ;)

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    1. Thank you so much! xo

      I am glad that you also cry sometimes, I wish I would not do it that often. :-/

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  3. Have faith. Everything will work out just right for you and your baby.
    Cheers :)

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    1. Thank you so much for your good thoughts and wishes! I am quite positive that you are right!

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  4. Love the idea of the communication journal. Hope this upcoming school year is great for you all!

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  5. I'm so glad that you love his new teacher! And Joy - I cried the first, second, and third times I met Tucker's new teacher last year. Also in the IEP with the school psychologist and the principal and case worker and speech therapist. Also at the evaluation with Early Childhood Intervention. I think they must be used to us emotional mamas.
    The communication journal is a brilliant idea. I didn't realize that wasn't standard. Tucker's teacher sends home a sheet with some pre-printed stuff that she can circle (today I felt happy/mad/sad/tired, I ate most/some/a little/none, school needs wipes/diapers/change of clothes) and then a bunch of lines for them to tell the parents how the day went. She always tells me about milestones (he tried to engage so and so in play over a truck) and trials/ABA/difficulties (having a harder time than usual accessing language in ____ situation). I think you will LOVE the journal.

    I'm also so happy to hear that his teacher is going to use his talker! You're such a good mom to have advocated those things for him! I'm excited for you and so relieved that you're happy with how this next school year is looking!! YAYYY :)

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    1. Oh, you cried, too?! Soo glad I am not the only one! Thank you for telling me!!

      You know, we do have a communication book but it is written. I want a kind of journal for Sunny mainly with pictures he can look at and remember "yeah, that was cool, I remember this and that". You know? I want to give him a biography where he can tell me half a year later that he remembers this or that event.

      I am excited and afraid at the same time. But I need to deal with it, and I will be okay, I guess. I hope. Thank you dear!! xoxo

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