Life On The B Side

Taking all that life throws at us one moment at a time

First Grade Anxiety and Excitement September 4, 2012

Filed under: Life on the Jay train — The B Side @ 12:02 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I spent most of the morning on the verge of tears.  Shocking I know.  lol.  Today was the first day of school for Ace.  He’s in 1st grade now.  Inside of me, there’s a mixture of anxiety and excitement.  Anxiety because so far school hasn’t been Ace’s favourite place.  His self-esteem took a beating last year and I’ve worked very hard to work him through his own anxiety at going back.  Excitement because the first day of anything means a new chance to make things better.  I’m sure he will learn a lot and make new friends.

I was on the verge of tears because my baby’s growing up so fast.  Too fast.  He had a birthday yesterday.  He’s 6 years old.  It really started to hit me that he’s a big boy now when I was going through the final preparations last night and packing up all his stuff and I realized that in all the notes and supply lists, there was no request for us to send him to school with an extra set of clothes.  It continued when we got to school this morning and I saw that no longer were there colour coordinated areas and circular desks for groups of kids.  Each student has their own desk which faces towards the front of the class.  There were actual text books on each desk and the parents were pretty much kicked out of the classroom as soon as we dropped off the supplies.  Last year there was a little mixing and mingling and the teacher gave the parents a quick run down of what the kids would be learning that year and there were pictures and hugs and kisses.  Some students were crying and some parents were trying to hide the fact that they were crying.  This year the kids were like old pros.

 

Before we left home, we got some really good pictures of me with Ace and Jay as well as CC with Ace and Jay.  (Side note:  It’s time we got a camera with a timer.  We need some pictures with all 4 of us together)

Tomorrow there will be more pictures to celebrate Jay’s 1st day back.  I don’t expect there will be much to talk/blog about as he’s in the same class with the same teacher as last year and all his therapies etc are in place.  (Another side note:  Next year this time I will be a MESS since Jay will most likely be in a new school and will definitely have all new people working with him.  Consider yourself warned.)

 

OK … So I don’t mean to end this on a downer but I can’t help but be a little annoyed at some stuff already with Ace’s school.  Well … not some stuff.  Just one thing for now.  I’ve been trying to get together with the school since June to put together a 504 plan for Ace.  (If you’re new here, Ace has ADHD).  So yeah, since JUNE.  I tried several times to set up a meeting.  I figured it would be in everyone’s best interest to have things in place for the beginning of the school year instead of trying to adjust once things had already started.  The VP of the school finally got back to me letting me know that she had gotten the report from the doctor and had spoken to the Special Ed coordinator but they would not be able to accommodate a meeting until probably the 2nd week of school.  Are you freaking kidding me?!?!

I didn’t make too much of a big deal about it.  I figured that wasn’t so bad and I had to pick my battles.  The thing that got me annoyed though was that when I got to Ace’s class this morning I saw that the seats had all been pre-assigned and my son – the one who gets distracted easily and needs constant reminding to be quiet and who will take any opportunity he gets to be silly – was assigned a seat as far away from the teacher as possible.  That tells me that they may have gotten the report from the doctor and the VP may have spoken to the Spec Ed Coordinator but they had not had any conversation with Aces teacher.

(Last side note:  I have yet to receive the letter from the school with the scheduled 504 meeting date/time.  I will follow up AGAIN on Friday).

 

That is not acceptable to me.

 

Scheduled parent teacher conferences won’t start for another 2 – 3 weeks.   That will be 2 very long weeks if Aces teacher doesn’t have an understanding of how my sons brain works.

 

I’m going home tonight to pen a letter to Ace’s teacher letting her know what’s going on and asking her to move him closer to the front of the class.  I will also let her know what tools/tricks we have found that help to keep him focused and his behaviour manageable.

 

When I left his classroom this morning Ace was in a good mood.  He seemed happy to be back at school and he seemed pleased with the teachers he got.  For now that’s an A+ in my book.  I really hope my anxiety and annoyance are unjustified.

 

Here we go 1st grade!

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3 Responses to “First Grade Anxiety and Excitement”

  1. Lisa Says:

    First grade!! It’s a big change, isn’t it?? I hope that you can get something worked out with Ace’s teacher prior to your meeting. One of the first accommodations for Jake’s ADHD is preferential seating near the teacher. It does help. I’m happy to hear that he was in a good mood–I hope it continues. It makes life easier when our kids are relaxed and relatively happy.

  2. Neil N Says:

    Congratulations on the milestone. Don’t give up on getting that meeting. Be persistent, polite, and FIRM. Just my $0.02 but we have always found we catch more flies with honey than vinegar, so to speak. We want the teachers to know that we’re going to be demanding, but that we value their input and we will reinforce the lessons they teach at home. We always schedule a meeting as soon as possible after the school year starts just to introduce ourselves to the child study team as well as his general and special ed teachers. I find it extremely helpful for everyone to be comfortable with one another, to establish a good working relationship and put address any initial concerns. The more everyone knows our child, the more comfortable they will be working with him. Best of luck to you!

  3. solodialogue Says:

    Toots and Ace are in the same grade! Toots also has ADHD and is in the front row on the end to accommodate him. The letter to the teacher is a great idea. Maybe send it with an apple (or chocolate – or a chocolate apple!) I’m glad Ace is feeing good about school so far. I wouldn’t worry too much about the timing of the 504 as long as you can show your effort to get it set up and you aren’t delaying it – it is bad on the school, not you. Here’s hoping for an awesome year for both our first graders!! xo


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