Preschool Reflections

by - Monday, May 28, 2018

This has been a year of set-backs, growth, humbling, and surrender. We have shed tears, laughed, and breathed many sighs of relief. And as I reflect on all of the events of our child's first year of school, I am so grateful for all this year has taught us.

I, like many parents, was a tad nervous about Aria going to school for the first time; but I was certain that, because of her love for learning, she would beast pre-k. I just knew she would go to school, be engaged, soak in knowledge, and show everyone just how smart she really is. I mean, that's how I was. Plus, her mommy is a teacher.

That is not exactly how it went...

As parents we have high hopes for our children but I think that no matter what, most of us just want what is best for our child. We want them to be happy and successful, and if that means adjusting our expectations or the way that we do or handle things, we do it. No matter how difficult it is for us personally. It was hard to hear that my child was not, in fact, beasting pre-k, and it was even harder to adjust my expectations.

As school started we began to realize that Aria struggles with structure and transitioning. As a teacher I know that those things are difficult for a lot of children. Especially a young 4 year old going into a structured environment for the first time. Her meltdowns at school kept getting worse and there were many days when I just dreaded to pick up the phone to hear that she was having another hard day.

We were so blessed this year to have an amazing teacher for Aria. She worked with her daily on how to express herself and she learned exactly what worked for our child. I have worked with a lot of teachers, and I know that sadly not everyone is willing to take this kind of time. For that I am eternally grateful. Her teacher recognized Aria's strengths and we all worked to build on those strengths and work together to overcome her difficulties.

This year Aria had many good days and many bad days. She struggled but she thrived. She is brilliant and knows more than most of the kids I have taught in kindergarten. She works hard and loves learning. She is learning how to cope with situations that make her frustrated and she is learning to follow the directions of the teachers the first time. We ended the year with the meltdowns being few and far between and we thank the Lord so much for that! She had a wonderful last month of school and I'm no longer terrified for her to go to kindergarten.

As I look back on this year I realize that we have all grown. Not just Aria. I'm not exactly the school parent I thought I would be, and that is ok. The office staff know me as well as most of the teachers on her hall. And that is ok! Aria has won them over with her smiles and laughter and her bigger than her body personality. They share smiles with me when I come in for good reasons, and sympathize with me when the reasons aren't so great. Aria has a community around her that loves her and my heart swells with joy when I see her walk down the halls of school and so many students and teachers know her by name.

Did I have to adjust my expectations for the school year? I certainly did. Did I become humbled by the situations surrounding this year? Absolutely. But that is more than ok. I think a lot of times in parenting we want things to go a certain way and when they don't, we just want to throw in the towel. We are tired and we deal with so much and often times that one more thing feels like enough to do us in. But we don't give up. We put on our big girl panties and we adjust and we keep going. We do it for our kids and we do it for ourselves.

We've got this!

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