Monday, August 2, 2010

If Jumping to Conclusions were Jumping Off Buildings then I just Jumped off the Sears Tower


Nothing good ever comes from jumping to conclusions, you know, before you have all the facts.  That's exactly what happened to me last Thursday. 

The backstory:
At our pre-school there are two classrooms dedicated to full-time VPK (voluntary pre-kindergarten) both teachers are awesome and I love them both.  You can't go wrong with either one of them.  On August 23rd the children will move to their new classrooms.

The Story:
On Thursday morning, while dropping Camdyn off in her classroom, I ask her current teacher which teacher Cam will have for VPK.  She tells me that Camdyn will be with Miss C.  Sweet.  I love her, she's known Cam since she was 9 months old.  That's awesome.  Then, I ask her which of her friends will have Miss C too....NONE OF THEM. 

This is where, my head starts to spin.  How is that?  She's being separated from Madie next year, and Nicole?  They've been together since they were 1!  I was floored.  I felt like I was falling through the rabbit hole like Alice in Wonderland.  My head was spinning.  So, I start asking questions and I learn that one class has 18 kids (yes - 18) and the other only has 8.  Camdyn is in the group of 8.  Okay, so now I start trying to figure that out and my mind ventures to that terrible place where I start trying to breakdown that decision.  Is she in the smaller group because she needs more help?  Then, this comes out of my mouth, "OMG - She's in the "slow" group!"  Sweet Jesus.  She's behind.  They have already labeled her as "low" and she's going to be pigeon-holed for the rest of her academic career.  I know, it's dramatic, but that's where my mind went.  And then I took this turn.  Or, maybe she has a serious behavior problem.  Maybe, she is unruly and it would be easier for her to be in the smaller group because they can't control her, heaven knows I have a hard time at it too.  My kid must be THAT KID. 

When, I left the pre-school that morning, I was sick to my stomach, near tears, and I was angry that Camdyn wasn't with all of her friends in the bigger class.  I was that stereotypical "my child does nothing wrong, why is she being singled out, I'm going to put an end to this" parent.  Now, I swore I would never be that parent, the parent that was every teacher's worst nightmare because they refused to recognize a problem, and defended their kid regardless of circumstance, but here I am. Another of parenthood's "don't judge me" lessons.  And, then I started thinking about what this means to me, how I was feeling now that Cam would be separated from MY FRIENDS, the Mommas that I love hanging out with and meeting for playdates.  I couldn't figure out if I was more devastated for Cam since she'll be separated from her besties, or for myself. 

I stewed on it  By the time I spoke with the director about it, I was nearly in tears.  Okay, I was in tears.  No one enjoys thinking their kid has a behavior or learning problem.  I confirmed that one class has 18 kids, and one has 8.  They were separated based on age to obtain a mix in both classes, then they separated the kids that had been together the longest, and separated the girls that "feed off each other."  This was interesting to me.  I know that Madie & Cam fight like sisters.  They love each other, but the two can also find themselves in screaming matches.  I was assured that they were not grouped by ability (that would be ridiculous at this age) and that Camdyn does not have a learning or behavior problem that needs addressing.

I gathered from the director that they thought Cam was a good fit with Miss C because they have a relationship already (Miss C runs the nursery room at church) and that Cam would adjust easily (compliment to Cam). 

So, my feelings began to change.  This is a gift.  Being in the smaller class is a good thing.  Camdyn is going to get more attention and hopefully a hand-up in preparing for kindergarten.  She's not going to be lost in a sea of 4 year old faces...she'll be 1 of 8.  How could that be a bad thing?  Plus, I love her teacher, she is experienced, and if anyone can get Camdyn to finally recognize the letter "W" Miss C can.  Plus, I'll still have my momma friends, Cam will still see her friends on the playground, and it'll be okay. 

It turns out that I'm not the only Momma who was traumatized by classroom assignments for next year.  There are a handful of other Momma's who are royally pissed off....still.  I shared my perspective with them, their thoughts "They are 4.  They aren't going to college, they are going to kindergarten.  Let them be with their friends for one more year."  I get that perspective, but would much rather my kid learn what she is supposed to learn, so that she can be at the top of her Kindergarten pals instead of struggling, feeling behind, and possibly losing interest in learning in elementary school.  The adjustment from school being entirely play centered and social centered needs to begin in Pre-K, otherwise Kindergarten is going to be a reality check.  This is the first step.

And, I learned - again, for the zillionth time in my 32 years - that Jumping to Conclusions always ends badly.  One day, I might actually think of that before I'm free falling into conclusion-ville. 

And because jumping to conclusions and jumping in general is so much fun.  Here is Chloe jumping too...well, sort of.


Heligirl said...

Oh man, I took that whole trip with you as I read it. I'd have had the same internal debate. Were we separated at birth? Seriously, I think all of us mamas have these feelings and jumping to conclusions is sadly a fault most of us share. I know I'm so very guilty. I fly off the handle way too soon, even more so since becoming a mom, and most often it's because I jumped to conclusions. This looks like it worked out well in the end though. I like the school's thinking about separating the ones that feed off each other. Sounds like something we could have used in high school, eh? :)

Mommy2Four said...

I have so done this before....and not only have I always promised myself I wouldn't be "that mom".... before my youngest was born, I WAS A PRE-K TEACHER!

::::shakes head:::::

Those Mother Hen instincts come on fast, I tell ya!

Meredith said...

I honestly don't think what you did was bad at all. I think those Mom's that drive teachers crazy are the ones who aren't in touch with their children. I know I'm not a mom, or a teacher, but when I worked in the mall there were moms who would let their children run around the store, climb the mannequins, throw jewelry, etc., and then would act surprised because their children are "angels". Those moms are the ones that complain when I ask them to watch their children because they are destroying the store. From what I know of you, you wouldn't do that. You are in touch with your child in an honest way, and you actually take care of her, so when something like that happens I think you have a right to question it without feeling annoying. In fact, I think it would be worse if you hadn't felt concern for your child and what the school was doing. So I don't think you jumped off a building - you were a concerned, loving Momma!

As a side note, I switched schools for high school. Not that it's the same, but, learning to make new friends is a good thing. It will help her in life.

Meredith said...

Oh goodness, I typed Mom's instead of moms. Please forgive.

Colleen (Shibley Smiles) said...

My heart was racing as I was reading your post just wondering what the outcome would be LOL. I have not yet asked who my daughter's teacher with be for VPK. I do know that one of her best friends isn't even in her class right now but they hang out in the morning, on the playground, etc. Enough that it is obvious they are best friends so I don't think that will change too much no matter what class she is in.

I have to admit though I would more then likely react the same way you do. I have always talked to all my kids teachers about anything and everything. My oldest is 13 and I admit it is hard to carry on that teacher/parent relationship once they get into middle school. However before this time each teacher I have dealt with has said they wished they had more parents like me that get involved.

So consider yourself an involved parent and keep up the continued work on making sure your daughter is being taken care of and taught in the best manner possible.

I give TONS of credits to teachers, they put up with us and our children!!!!!!!

Look I'm going to post and no word verification. LOL Thanks for stopping by today!

LeeAnn said...

I jump to conclusions too...and often the wrong ones. I just can't help it. I also bug the living crap out of the teachers at daycare. But all in all, I think they respect me for being an "involved" parent, even though all of my concerns may drive them up the wall at times.

I have to ask, though...why didn't they split the classes more evenly? Why 18 in one and only 8 in the other? 18 sounds like a huge class!

Sassy said...

Those mamma instincts sure can hit fast and hard! When it comes to our kids our immediate reaction is to protect them. Which should be the case. But I am right there with ya in that I sometimes jump before thinking.

Mama Hen said...

This is a great post Carol! Yes, we need to realy get all the facts before jumping to conclusions. I am a lot like you with jumping to conclusions and crying before I know everything. Yes, the child did come to the party, but with a different mom. I was happy for my daughter because she realy likes the boy! I hope you come and join my new network Carol. Get your name and button in at the beginning. Today is the first day and already I have been logging in members throughout the day! Just press the join section for details. I will do four features a week and I would love to feature you my friend! So come and join if you would like! :) Have a great day!

Mama Hen

Chelsea said...

I have a blog award waiting for you at my blog! Stop by and pick it up!

Kelley said...

I have so been there! I have often felt like Alice in Wonderland falling down a black hole when it comes to my children (and other things). At my 2 y/o son's Mother's Day Out program, they told me he'd be in the "younger 2"s class when all along I was told he'd be in the older 2's (where I wanted him to be). My mind than begin to fill with irrational thoughts about why they put him there. So, I know what you mean! On another note, thanks for stopping by my silly blog! I'm glad you can relate to my waking up looking like I just wrestled a hyena! :)

Anonymous said...

Great post. I did the same kind of thing when my 8 1/2 month old was moved up to the early toddlers class at church. I was so ticked off at first, but realized that there may be some good that comes out of it.

P.S I love that video. I love how she "jumps" and the dog in the background lol