Monday, August 30, 2010

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Two and a half years ago, I wrote about the angst and anxiety associated with deciding where to send HRH for kindergarten.  We made our decision and felt good about it.  Let's go buy some uniforms, it's off to Catholic school we go!

Two years ago, I met several mothers at Little League who warned me repeatedly about the Kindergarten teacher to whom HRH had been assigned.  We chose to take these cautions with a grain of salt and form our own opinions. 

A little less than two years ago, I wrote in excruciating detail about moving HRH out of St Somewhere's following a harrowing several months where every warning I'd received and then some came back to bite me in the ass.

First grade was ideal!

Last month, we received Gremlin's teacher assignment.  We got my first choice!

School starts nine days from now.  There are four second grade teachers.  According to the Mommy Telegraph, two are good.  One is new.  And one is She-who-must-not-be-named. Yesterday, we returned to our annual pilgrimage to Storyland to receive our class assignment: Mrs. Anyone-But-Her.  Here we go again.

I read back through my old posts on the topic and find a common theme; Kindergarten is such a watershed year.  It's important to have the right teacher. This is his first year in a new school, it's so important to start off on the right foot.  And now?  Second grade is so early on.  He loves school.  What if this teacher is as bad as everyone says?

I get it.  He won't always have the best teacher.  I didn't.  I survived. I'm not going to spoon feed him through college but isn't part of my job to make sure he does get what's best for him? 

This time, I am listening to the warnings.  I'm asking specific questions; what do you mean she's "not a good teacher?"  Can you be a bit more specific? Did your child have her or was it just someone you'd talked to?   I talked to good friend of mine who happens to teach.  I've got emails out to other teacher-friends.  I also emailed HRH's 1st grade teacher asking if she thought this assignment was "a good fit" - and yes, I included my cell and home numbers so she can call me below the radar. 

I've gotten Andy's agreement if not his blessing.  I'm in my Discovery Phase today and tomorrow.  Then it's decision time.  And all this is assuming that I'll get my own way and the principal will honor my request for a change.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat...


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

Marla said...

Next time, I suggest asking around (both teachers and parents) BEFORE class assignments are made. Then, if you think it is important (you probably don't want to do this every year so consider each time if it is worth doing), make your request of the principal in writing and in the positive - "I think that Ms. X would be a great match for HRH because of A,B, and C but understand how difficult class assignments are, . . ."

Life As I Know It said...

Good luck. it is nerve racking, isn't it? I'm not totally pleased with assignments this year, but, admittedly, my hesitations are all second hand opinions.
I spent a lot of time filling out a form stating which teacher I thought would be a good fit, and they seemed to completely ignore it.
Hoping for the best.
I hope everything turns out well for you!

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

Oh, good for you for asking all the questions. I think it's brilliant that you contacted his teacher from last year. Good luck to you and HRH!

Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas said...

I'm going through a bit of this as well. I was told by other 1st grade parents that Boo's first grade teacher was good, but I can tell after only a week that the chemistry just isn't there between them. For now, I'm hanging back and advising her on how to be successful and letting her figure it out herself. We'll see where we stand at parent-teacher conferences in a few weeks. Good luck with your situation. I hope it all turns out well!


Otter Thomas said...

I am guilty too often of just letting things go and ignoring potential problems. I am glad to have my wife for those times. I am sure you are doing the right thing for you son. Good luck.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Good luck. Some schools are ok with class changes but some are STICKLERS and won't let you have any say. Maybe threaten pulling him out if they don't comply? I don't know. We had some bad teachers (and good ones) and those were HORRIBLE YEARS.

Jason, as himself said...

I have such mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, of course you want your child to have a wonderful teacher, especially in K. On the other hand, kids need to know that they're not going to always love their teachers, and they need to learn to navigate that fact.

That being said, I am SOOO glad Diego had an amazing and lovely teacher in kindergarten.


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