Friday, August 24, 2012

Back to School: Year of the B's

This year in school, all three kids will have a teacher whose name/last name starts with the letter "B."  Piper's teacher in her pre-k will be Ms. BJ, and both Caroline and Bryce's teacher's last names start with the letter B - Caroline's teacher's first name even starts with B!  So I guess I'll have to call Caroline's teacher Ms. Bo and Bryce's Ms. Be since I don't like to put last names on my blog.

Piper's pre-k will be three mornings a week through the local rec council at an elementary school nearby.  She won't start until September 10 and hasn't met her teacher yet but I was in last week to pick up her paperwork and meet her teacher.  Piper was so excited to hear all about her new school and her new teacher. I told her what her teacher's name was and later in the day she was asking me about her teacher, Ms. Bluejay.  I got a good giggle out of that one!  Her back to school night won't be until after Labor Day so she's still got some time before starting, but she will start her bi-monthly speech sessions with the wonderful Ms. Patty next week.  I'm so thankful that my mom and MIL will be able to help with Piper's pre-k this year.  Both Caroline and Bryce did daycare "pre-k" because I was working and didn't have another option for them but I think since Piper has been home since she was one between my mom and MIL, I think this will be a good transition for her.  She's such a friendly kid but could use some structure and something that feels like real school.  I didn't even know about it until recently when my neighbor told me about it and was so grateful when she helped get me in the "back door" by giving her spot to me instead of having to go through lottery like most people.  

As for the other two kids, last night was Meet your Teacher/Back to School Night.  I can not get over how excited the kids were to be there.  First we went to Bryce's class to see Ms. Be.  Caroline had Ms. Be for first grade too so this was a welcome back for us.  We were especially happy to hear that not only was Ms. Be going to have a smaller class (they transitioned to four first grades this year) but Bryce was in the highest achieving class.  He's even sitting next to Allie, one of our neighbors that we like so much.  It was a little difficult trying to listen to Ms. Be with Piper being a bit difficult.  She was tired and did not want to sit quietly and Jason ended up taking her out in the hallway toward the end.  She wasn't being truly bad, just disruptive to the other families trying to hear about first grade.  

Caroline was also being a little bit silly as you could tell she was feeling her third grade Cheerios.  She was quiet but kept dancing around and posing and saying things like, "I'm a third grader!"  Oh the drama.  She could not wait to get to her classroom as she was very excited about me meeting her teacher.  Finally, Ms. Be was done with her presentation and we headed down the hall to Caroline's class.  Caroline pranced and danced the entire way.

One of the weird things about their school is that it was built in the 1970's which was when there was a STUPID trend going on about building schools with semi-open floor plans.  Seriously, I want to meet the crackhead who thought this up and that it would aid student learning.  The high school nearby that was built around the same time actually has it somewhat too so you can see it was clearly some nouveau way to build school.  Anyway, at the elementary school, all the kids in grades Pre-K through second grade are in standard, four wall classrooms.  However, the library is kind of free form and open as are the 3rd through 5th grade classes.  Basically, there are 3 GIANT classrooms that are divided up into four smaller classrooms with 3/4 walls.  I will say they've done some things to make them quieter with carpeting and other noise absorbing materials and typically the older kids have the potential to be quieter, but still, it's not closed off.  Just weird!  

Anyway, aside from that it was really great meeting Ms. Bo.  Although I have to say, OMG, she's YOUNG.  She's got to be about 11-12 years younger than Jason and me.  I guess that's one of the things that starts making you feel old - your kid's teacher is younger than you.  Not that it's a problem - she seems to have it together and I'm hopeful Caroline will have another great year.  But it was interesting as she was going over her presentation about how different 3rd grade will be from 2nd grade because I truly believe that Caroline's teacher from last year, Ms. A, did an excellent job of preparing her class for the next grade.  While the grading scheme will be different this year (real grades of A,B,C instead of those weird CN, P, etc), the way Ms. Bo will be running the class will be very similar to Ms. A - very third grade.  We stopped by to see Ms. A on our way out and I told her what a great job she did preparing the kids for the rigor of third grade.  I absolutely adore Ms. A and can't thank her enough for her hard work last year. (And this is where I chastise myself for not getting a photo of Caroline in her classroom but Ms. Bo hadn't assigned desks yet so we just sat wherever we wanted.)

With all of our homeroom teachers met, we wandered around saying hi to everyone - it's nice having so many of the teachers and staff know you.  The kids love their specials teachers and they were all so happy to see them.  Our last stop before we left was to see Ms. R, Bryce and Caroline's kindergarten teacher.  She was so happy to see them and was so touched that Bryce gave her a hug on his own.  In fact, when he spotted her walking down the hall, he stopped and got the biggest smile on his face - it was the cutest thing.  She has such a special place in my heart after teaching both of the big kids - I just love her!

So a good back to school night and Caroline is PUMPED about school on Monday and being on of the "big kids."  Bryce is less enthused but I think that's part of his act as he doesn't like to show his excitement, much like his father.

No comments: