Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Preschool Drama and a Movie

Date night was awesome last night!  Hubs and I got to spend 5 solid hours together sans kids.  He opened doors for me, said he wished he was more dressed up, and held my hand like we were teen-agers.  We had dinner and saw a movie, but not before we went and visited a brand new squishy pink baby.  To be honest, I felt a twinge in my ute, my ovaries itched a tiny bit, watching Hubs hold that tiny bundle in his hands made my heart flutter.  I was starting to feel fevery, but, then at dinner I gulped a Shocktop and the feeling passed.  I do not have baby fever.  I do not have baby fever.  There.  I convinced myself.

Moving on. 

The orientation for Camdyn's VPK class did not measure up to my expectations and left me feeling underwhelmed.  If you are new here, or suffer from pregnancy brain, or mommy brain, then GO HERE and read the back story on our Pre-School drama.  Okay, maybe it is MY preschool drama.

Orientation started off with all of the parents of the children combined in to one classroom.  Cool.  It appears that it is a good turnout, there are lots of parents here.  Then, a mere 5 minutes in to the orientation they separate the classes, which basically means me, the Hubs, and one other parent stand, walk across the classroom and head down the hall.  In that moment, I felt the way I imagine my kid will feel everyday, as she is pulled from her friends at 8:30 in the morning and brought down the hall to another classroom. 
I felt like the oddball
I felt ostracised
I felt like I was being separated from the popular group. 
I felt like that kid that nobody wanted on their kickball team. 

So, we walk down the hall and we see the room that Camdyn will spend her days in for the next year.  It's smaller than the classroom she is in now.  The bulletin boards are bare (her teacher had a reason for this, but still....not a good start).  And honestly, coming from the giant, bright, fully prepared room that the rest of the parents are still sitting in, this room is down-right depressing.  Ugh.  My heart sank.  I just can't shake the feeling that Camdyn is in the slow group, that this group of kids was hand selected because they need more help, or don't get along well with others. 

Dear Director,
I realize that there has been quite a fallout this year over classroom assignments.  You've dealt with several sets of irritated and irate parents who are upset that their children are being separated from their best friends.  You've dealt with parents like me, who are concerned that their kid is behind or has a behavioral problem and that she has been designated to a classroom with other children that have similar issues.  Although you have assured me that is not the case, I still feel like it is.  Why is that?  Is it because there isn't a good mix of kids in the smaller class?  You claim that you separated by gender since there are fewer boys.  Why does the small class have 4 boys and the larger class only has 3?  That doesn't make much sense if we are talking statistics and percentages.  Seems to me like your theory isn't holding weight...it makes me not trust the reasons you gave me.

Here's a piece of unwarranted and unsolicited advice.  In the future, when you are assigning children to classrooms if you don't divide them according to ability and temperament, then why don't you just draw names out of hat.  That seems to me the only fair way to separate the children without alarming their parents, causing them grief and worry, and thereby causing the children grief, and it will save you from this entire scene.  Seriously, this is weighing heavy on my heart, and I don't think I'll rest easy about it the entire year. 

Every day when I march my child right past the big, bright, cheery room with ALL OF HER FRIENDS in it, I will feel this way.  Everyday, I will silently fight my gut feeling that my kid is behind, or isn't capable of functioning in a group with her friends.  And, everyday, I will be thankful that we are one step closer to Kindergarten.  Because at least there, I will feel like she is on even ground with the rest of the children.  When she's there, I will feel, again, like she has a chance at being viewed as the bright, charismatic child that she is.  I will wish the entire year away....everyday.  And, I hate that I have to feel that way each time I walk past room 114.

(please note this has nothing to do with the teachers - love them.  Just the classes, and how the kids are mixed up)

One overly concerned, extremely sensitive, and some-what dramatic parent

And, that's all I have to say about that.

Because I believe in balance, taking the good with the bad, and finding the upside in a situation.  Here's a slideshow of pictures I took last Saturday. Maybe through them you can see just how important this school has been in our lives over the past 4 years.  Maybe you can see just how happy Camdyn is with her friends, and maybe you can understand a little more about why I'm so bothered by the classroom scenario. 

So, here are the kids, enjoying the playground, enjoying cake, enjoying the water.  And, just enjoying being kids!  I love them all, and their parents too!

**I realize that some of the pictures are out-of-focus, but they still show the moments, so I included them.


rlooney said...

I would feel the same way if my child was separated from her friends. I am sorry about preschool.

Colleen (Shibley Smiles) said...

Maybe you should try to talk to them a little bit more about your concerns and feelings? I know I would have a hard time doing that myself but I know if it was bothering me that much I don't think I could sit back and be ok with it. I don't have much advice as Ericka was never in the same class with her "friends" they just played with each other in the morning and during outside time so she didn't seem to care much at all. The difference in the rooms though would definitely bother me. Can you request she be moved to the other class before they start?

We started today, so hopefully I will have something to post about it tomorrow!

Nic said...

That video made me cry. I'm pms'ing and crazy lately so maybe that's why. Too cute though. It stinks about her being split up, I agree that it just doesn't add up. Have you ever thought though, that perhaps she's actually in the gifted class?? Either way, I'd be upset too. Hopefully she has a good year.

ps: I take it you live near Siesta Key? That was always our beach of choice for our Florida trips when I was a kid. Next summer, I am bringing the kids to Disney and planned on popping down there for a day or two also. Playdate maybe??? :)

Liz said...

That's a great slideshow!!! Looks like the kids had a blast....

Hope talking to you this morning about the whole situation helped a little. I know it's hard and I'm sure it will only get harder as our kids get older!

Eastlyn and co. said...

I am a bloom where you are planted kind of gal. I often think that kids are resilient and adapt much better to new situations than we adults do. I tried not to let other people influence which classes I chose based on their experience with a particular instructor. I found that I generally liked the prof that everyone said was "way too hard" or "an awful instructor." Maybe it's just 'cause I'm old, and I've been around the block a time or two. Maybe you can make an arrangement with the director that if things aren't going well after XX weeks that you'd like to have the option of switching classes. I would absolutely hate for you to wish Cam's entire year away like that. No one would benefit from that. Keep us posted. -Eastlyn

Janelle said...

I am so sorry about the preschool situation. That can be so hard. I am a lot like you and think those same things in my head.

On a happier note I am glad you and your husband had such a great date night. :)

(Sweet Tea and Giggles)

LeeAnn said...

Apparently I missed this post when you originally posted it. How sad. I don't have any advice for you, because I'm sure I would be thinking the exact same things. Camdyn seems like a very bright, good-natured little girl, though, so I don't think she is being separated due to being behind or having a behavioral problem. I hope she adjusts well. Please keep us posted.