She was a tiny little peanut, all year long she remained one of my smallest students. But oh, was she feisty. Not at first, though. When I asked if she was excited for first grade, she shook her head "no" with tears in her eyes. Her mom was just as nervous, I could tell. She went on and on that her little girl wasn't all that smart. She couldn't read very well, and couldn't do this very well, or that. I continued to reassure her that I would use various assessments to help determine what I needed to do on her daughter's behalf.
Her daughter proved to be one that had to work harder than the other students. Not because she couldn't keep up, but because she was day dreaming a lot and missed the lesson and instructions.
But she was a doll. It was her mother who proved to be one of my most difficult parents. One that had me bawling in the principal's office within the first two months of school (And I don't mean cute, quiet alligator tears, I mean huffing and puffing, hysterical ugly crying. I eventually had to lock my classroom door while the kids were in specials and sob.).
She told me her daughter "hated" me sometime in the first trimester. Her sweet little girl. The one who came to school with black hipster glasses on for a week (she didn't need glasses). Who twisted her ponytail into a bun the one day I wore my hair up in a bun. The one who came back for a second hug after school every, single, day the last two weeks of the year. By the end of the year, her little sister was giving me hugs, and the mom was giving me nervous smiles because we all new the truth: her little girl loved school.
Yes, we did a 180 in our teacher-parent relationship. I wouldn't say it was great at the end of the school year, but we could work together. For me, that was enough.
One of my teacher friends posted this article, and I got a little teary eyed. Maybe it was the pregnancy hormones, but I also feel like I got a glimpse into what this mom's world might have been like. She was a little princess, and being pregnant with our own babe, I can only imagine how I'll feel when there's another adult who is more influential in our child's actions than I am. Probably something similar to the author, but I hope to react in a much kinder way that some parents have acted towards me, because I know the influence parents have on their kiddo's teacher.
Meet the teacher is coming up. I'm sure I'll have another little one who says that they aren't excited for second grade. I'm also hoping that with a much more organized time to explain classroom procedures to all of my parents at once, that I can alleviate some of those questions and concerns that might follow us into the school year.
Here's to second grade. I'm hoping my firsties from last year are getting excited. Especially that sweet little peanut who was so nervous for first grade.