Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Well...I was actually pretty stunned at this

Earlier this morning...

So, the doubts are creeping in today. Both kids were dressed (on their own) and ready to go out the door just after 8am. They got in the car willingly. There was no talk of "I don't want to go to school." The drop off was seamless. BOY's teacher greeted him enthusiastically and he was happy to see her. GIRL held back for a second, but only over the decision to partake in a french toast breakfast or not. As I bent down to hug GIRL good-bye, we watched the other little girls in her class swirling around with long scarves. The room was full of happy children. I talked to her teacher. The Director had not told her yet that GIRL is leaving. So, the news came from me. She was very surprised and sad. "GIRL has been so happy here..." It is SO hard to be a grown-up and make the right decision for your children. It would be far easier to stay and hope things get better.

Then.... I was interrupted by the Director of the school calling me. She said that she just had to connect with me and ask us to give them another chance. To give the school a chance to make it right and to do things differently with BOY. To focus on all the things that he does. She was very clear that BOY would stay on a 1/2 day schedule indefinitely until all of us felt he was ready to be there a couple afternoons a week. She also wanted to let me know how happy he seemed to be and that they had noticed a major shift in him this week. She said that if we decided to move forward and take BOY & GIRL out of school that she respected what we felt we needed to do for our child, but she hoped we would stay.

Well...I was actually pretty stunned at this. And very pleased. This was major. I shared with her our reservations about what the teacher had said - that BOY had not progressed since September. The Director said that she could see how we could interpret this negatively, but she felt that the spirit in which it was made was not negative. That the teacher cared very much that BOY was happy at school and was having fun. I'm not sure how that could have been interpreted otherwise, but I reiterated that we want BOY to just be compared to himself and not to the other children. I then told her I appreciated her calling us and that I would call her back after E and I had a chance to talk together.

We called her back and E made it clear what our expectations are. That BOY not be pushed. That he is there to have fun. And that our concern is to have BOY in the right environment. She listened. She agreed. She said we could have regular meetings to discuss how he is doing. She said she was very hopeful and enthusiastic that this 1/2 day plan would work for BOY.

So, we agreed to give it a chance. I do think we owe them that. I wouldn't be saying that if BOY still appeared to be stressed at school or at home, but there has been a dramatic difference in his behavior over the last week. He has not been pushing the limits as much. He is laughing. And he is lighter in spirit. He has been BOY. Just as in any relationship, when you have been let down by someone, and they ask you to give them another chance...I think the mature thing to do is to let them do that. I think that the school has been visibly shaken by our intention to leave. And that has compelled them to make changes. I just heard from a friend, whose children are there, that the school will be having teacher in-services every 2 weeks with a child psychologist- checking in and making sure things are going well and that the expectations are appropriate.

When I picked up BOY after lunch, his teacher came over to me and apologized for any misunderstandings. She said that she cares for all the children and that they realize that they have made mistakes. She shared what a great day BOY had today and their number one priority is BOY's comfort level. I feel incredibly relieved, very hopeful, and exhausted.

Oh, and the BIGGEST news of the day. The mysterious disappearing POOP was found! Next to the swing set. Slow Panic can breathe a sigh of relief.... the dogs didn't eat it!

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  1. wow, that is stunning. A real turn-around on the part of the school, and definitely deserving of a second chance. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  2. That is good news! It sounds like they are really sincere about working something out. I think it says a lot that they owned up to having mishandled the situation earlier. I hope it works out!

    P.S. I KNEW I shouldn't have made light of your poop situation the other day because this evening? The V-meister somehow managed to get poop inside the toe of her sock, on my mom's guest towels, and the living room rug. Huh.

  3. Whew on all accounts!

    So glad things are working the way you think they should. And that the dogs didn't eat the poop.

  4. poor doggies.

    so GLAD the school is so willing to work with you. i know how hard this has been for you. i've been through similar experiences. they sound very anxious to work with you and to do what's right for your son.

  5. I absolutely LOVE days like this. It sounds sincere and will allow you to exhale (just a bit).

    And thank GAWD you found the crap and the dog DID NOT eat it! :)

  6. ohmygod, i'm so relieved you found it.

  7. The great thing is that the school is very aware of your expectations now, and of Boy's needs. You couldn't ask for a better outcome, especially since he seems so happy now. Yay for all of you.

    And for the found poop.

  8. This school sounds amazing. Good luck to BOY in finding his bliss.

  9. Sounds like the school is listening; that's huge.

    Best wishes to you all.

  10. And this is a PRE-school?! What was Boy being pushed to do in a pre-school? How silly that y'all had to remind the teachers that your children were there to have FUN. Goodness. But I am glad that you were taken seriously and I do so hope it all works out. BUT, should they need to come home again, I know you can totally handle it. With just a bit more chocolate, of course.

  11. It's amazing what can happen in 24 hours. Hooray!

  12. I feel like there is so much I'd love to share with you about a similar situation. I just don't know where to start.

    Glad you're making a way for the kiddos.

  13. Thanks for stopping by my place.

    I hope all things work out well. The comfort of your kids is the most important thing education wise.

  14. Excellent excellent news. It's great that they responded to your concerns (finally), but still sad that it took threatening to leave to do it. But still. Good news for Boy.
    And congrats on finding the errant poop. Without stepping in it (my usual method).

  15. I wishyou good luck with this decision. I know any decision regarding change for your kids is hard.

  16. How does BOY feel about staying?

    I'm glad to hear they're willing to work with you. I hope it proves fruitful!

  17. Must be a huge relief to feel that the school might actually GET it!

  18. It sounds like they get it and that things will clearly be looking up! Great news!

  19. I'm glad the school responded that way! You probably just made things a lot better for all the kids there, by bringing the flaws in their thinking to everyones attention. I'm curious, how will you explain this to BOY and GIRL? This might be a good lesson in forgiveness for them, and saying you are sorry when you are wrong.

  20. You're my hero. I hate having to act like a grownup and often still call the teachers Mrs.

    Good luck with finding the balance. And congratulations on finding the poop!


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