When we moved to Whidbey Island last August and the kids started at a new school, I was worried. Like all parents, I want my kids to fit in, to feel comfortable, to have friends. I needn’t have worried. Both of them made friends right away. What didn’t go quite so smoothly, was Jasper’s transition into his first grade classroom.
I hate to say these words because I have been an elementary school teacher, I know how hard it is, and I love and admire teachers, but here they are: his teacher so obviously didn’t want to be teaching. She was annoyed with everything the kids did; she was exhausted and cranky from the minute her tiny first graders walked in.
I volunteered in the classroom every week. I saw how hard it was for my kiddo to be in a crowded classroom with 28 other first graders and absolutely no classroom management or organization or positive discipline at all. Jasper struggled. Most of his classmates did. But what really killed me one day was when I picked the kids up, and while buckling his seatbelt, Jasper said to me with a huge sigh, “My teacher said school isn’t about art.”