New Students and Parents
It’s been a big week and it’s only Tuesday.
First, I had a new student yesterday, a transfer from the public school. I spent Sunday in my classroom prepping for her: cleaning and adjusting the last-minute desk, digging out extra curricula, making notes of what additional books needed to be ordered, making sure her name was included everywhere the other kids’ names were: classroom door, deskplate, job charts, teacher’s pet chart, etc. (It was a lot of work and I found myself mentally apologizing to my children’s teachers. Five years ago we joined the school late, too. It was mid-October.) I wanted my new student to feel immediately included and welcome when she arrived. I anticipated an early arrival Monday morning so I could help her get settled.
Monday morning she didn’t arrive until after school began. I confess to being annoyed with her parents. I mean, really, you couldn’t get her to school on time for her first day? It’s bad enough being late on a regular day, but her FIRST DAY? The kid’s got enough to worry about and deal with.
Okay, I’ll step down off my soapbox and acknowledge that this was a new routine for them at home, too: a uniform to deal with, a new place to get to, etc. Don’t worry, I didn’t say anything to the child. After all, my job was to help her assimilate quickly and make her feel welcome. And, to her credit, she slid right in with a great attitude, adapting quickly to her new surroundings. She’ll be a good addition to the class…when she returns. She was absent today.
I’m biting my tongue.
Tonight is Back to School night. I spent hours on my handouts for the parents, detailing our procedures and curricula. It’s probably too detailed. I’ve decided not to actually hand out my agenda until after I’m finished speaking because I want their attention on me, not on their papers, when I talk. I’m vain that way, I guess. Then again, it’s the same expectation I have of their students.
I am kinda proud of my “How You Can Help” form. It gives parents lots of ideas and opportunities for helping out. I must thank one of my followers, The Room Mom, for planting the seed. I didn’t even know there were room moms until I read her blog. (I homeschooled. I WAS the room mom.) I don’t think I’ll need a formal Room Mom, but I certainly have lots of ways moms—and dads—can participate. Here’s a link to my volunteer form if you want to check it out:
Still, I’m a bit nervous about tonight, especially the part where I introduce myself. It’s the part where I’m basically answering the question, “So why did they hire you to teach my child?
I’ll let you know how it goes.