Monday, September 6, 2010

The First Day of School

It is hard to believe that a new school year 2010-2011 has begun.  Almost every child in this country will be in school after the Labor Day celebration.  The children in Huntsville, Alabama have been in school since August 9th, so we're in full swing.

Our granddaughter, who we helped raise, started high school this year.  I felt the same anxiety that I felt taking her to kindergarten for the first time. (To be honest, I think I was even more nervous this time).  As we drove in the car, I asked her if she was nervous and she quietly answered, "yes".  I told her I wanted to make sure she got her schedule and knew where to go for her first period class and she simply said, "MiMi, I really want to walk in by myself".  I couldn't believe it!!!!! How could she not need me to be there.  I told her if she just let me walk her in to get her schedule, I promised I would leave immediately and not kiss her good-bye and not tell her I love her.  She simply laughed and I walked her in.  She got her schedule and looked back and said, "I'll be okay".  I turned and and walked out with a pit in bottom of my stomach and bricks weighing down my feet.... How could she be in high school already? Where was the little girl who would have begged me to come with her?

I drove to school thinking about how she was doing. Would she make any new friends? Would kids be nice to her? Would she get lost trying to find her classes? Who would she eat lunch with?  As I walked in I saw the kindergarten parents walking their children to class.  Some of the fathers had their little ones in their arms.  I watch as the mothers fussed over their children's clothes and hair and could see the anxiety building as the principal announced that all parents should leave the classroom and let the teachers get started.  It was then that I realized that we have to trust our administrators, teachers, and staff to take care of our most precious possessions, "Our Children". 

I truly hope that parents do trust their schools with their children.  And I truly hope that teachers and administrators show parents that they can be trusted with their children to love, care, direct, and instruct them while in their care.  You see, school should be a "partnership" with parents because the school  has your children a large part of the day.  I pray that everyone has a WONDERFUL school year and your child is getting the Best Education Possible.  Oh yes, and enjoy "Labor Day". 


xanthiae September 9, 2010 at 2:16 PM  

Dear Mrs. West,
Reading your entry brought back so many memories; the fear, anxiety and finally the trustAs parents we are often not ready to let go and trust that another person wants what is best for our child just as we do. As you have expressed so eloquently, we should look upon this time as a "partnership" and not one of being usurped in our children's eyes. As loving parents, we want our children to do well. This can only be accomplished through working in partnership with teachers and staff for the betterment of our children. We must not only be willing to trust the teacher, but we must trust ourselves to ask questions and accept the answers. It is such a relief to know that as an educator you experience the same emotions that many parents do. In sharing your story you have made me realize that we all experience "growing pains", it's funny that we never think about how educators feel as parents. Thank you for that.
Xanthia Elmore

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