Thursday, September 1, 2011

First Contact

Many parents dread a call from school.  Don't know how that started but there is a negative connotation to getting a call from a teacher.  There's been a problem, and issue, a disaster...
As a teacher, I suppose I get it.  Making those calls (the problem, the issue, the disaster...calls) are tough but lead to a better tomorrow for the child.

Wolfie decided to buy a lunch at school today.  He hadn't done that yet and he was nervous about getting in a new line.  Changing his routine.  Gabe emailed me at work to tell me that Wolfie had actually gotten pretty upset before getting on the bus but he had given Wolfie a pep-talk.

But then I got an email from Wolfie's teacher.  Being a teacher in the same school corporation, it's super easy for me to be in instant email contact with my children's teachers and vice versa.

She let me know in the email that Wolfie had a tough day.  He was nervous about lunch (we knew that) but he was also upset about something that happened on the playground at recess.  She indicated in the email that she didn't quite get the full story from Wolfie but she felt so bad that his feeling were hurt.

Uh oh.

This is all new to me, to us, as parents.  And the playground can be tough.  Typically everyone is playing but there is other intense stuff kids have to do some sometimes.  Negotiating all that fairness.  Reacting to classmates boundary-free choices.  Words.  Words not monitored by grown-ups.

I get home from work just a few minutes before Wolfie's bus drops him off.  I told Gabe that Wolfie's teacher emailed me about some issue that happened at recess.  We waited for him.  We waited for...the story.

Wolfie said there was some trouble on the playground.  (here it comes)

He said, "I was playing with a friend and...and...and...too many other kids wanted to play with me."

Gabe was standing behind Wolfie and was grinning ear to ear.  I tried to maintain a straight face and asked, "How did that make you feel?"  and followed up later with a, "that feeling is called 'overwhelmed'."  Yes, it became a vocabulary lesson.  What did you expect?

Whew!  The stress of first grade.  I can hear my mother-in-law saying, "It's just starting...."

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