Monday, August 18, 2008

Preschool Power

Abigail's first day of preschool. She had no qualms about leaving, and we had no qualms about sending her. It is just the right thing at the right time, and it wasn't sad at all! Here are some 'first day of school' pictures:
When I picked her up, she was glowing! So proud of herself, and you could tell it had been a great day. She is so proud that she has learned to write her own name. Although she has been working on writing letters, and has done all the letters that are in her name (and I've tried to get her to write her name with no success), she seemed simply amazed that she could WRITE her OWN NAME. So adorable the way she says it. :)

Her preschool teacher wanted all the parents to write a little letter telling her about our child, and try to help her get to know them. I am including what I wrote, so I can have a copy of it, and also so Abigail's birthmom can read it. The rest of you can feel free to skip it- it is just the bragging of a parent! :)

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Dear Teacher,

Thank you for taking time and effort to get to know our Abigail! We are all excited for her to be in preschool this year!

Abigail is very smart, and is very ready and excited to learn. Because of our family dynamic (she has twin brothers who are just one year younger than she is), she often gets held back a little, and sometimes is treated younger than she is. So she is quite ready to be "big" and go to school! Abigail is also very social and friendly, and will enjoy all her new friends.

Abigail thrives on routine and knowing what to expect. She also is very proud when we give her responsibilities and will try her hardest to do her best job.

From a very early age of 1, she has loved reading books. She always brings books for us to read to her, and has her favorites memorized. She also loves to collect things- whatever she can find to fill her many purses! We call her our little "squirrel".

Thanks once again, we are looking forward to working with you this year!

Sincerely,
Shanna

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A note about this letter. On the meet the teacher day, we were mingling, talking with the teachers, showing the kids the room, etc. I was standing next to the teacher when one of the parents came to talk with her. She spent several minutes describing in detail all of her daughter's faults (manipulative, won't share, not easy going, controlling, etc). The teacher tried to reasssure her, saying that most 4 year olds had those behaviors, etc. But the mom was adamant that her child was very difficult and the teacher was really in for it.

Now, perhaps this mother had a valid point, and her daughter had some extreme behaviour issues that needed special care. But I kind of doubt it. I kind of think she was just a normal four year old (partly because when she was listing some of the things her daughter did, I was inwardly nodding my head that Abigail did some of those things too). I was struck with how sad it was that the mother wanted the teachers first impression of her child to be negative. And how she just kept emphasizing the negative, and never really got around to all the positive, wonderful, amazing things about her child.
So I was thinking, maybe these letters to the teacher are to get to know the child, and maybe they are to get to know the parent! Is the letter 10 pages, typed, single spaced? Is the letter a hastily written 2 sentences on the back of a scrap paper? Do you only mention negative things? Are you gushing about how your child is the most exceptionally gifted child ever created? It makes me wonder what she is thinking about *me* as she reads my letter! Now, is that self-centered, or what? ;)

14 comments:

TheVillamorFamily said...

Preschool is so much fun! Congrats to everyone on a successful day!

What did Jack and Aiden do without her??? play together;)

amy said...

I cant wait for these moments..She is precious

Kydon said...

Jack was a little sad- just a little down. But I also was babysitting 2 other kids while she was gone, so they haven't had their break yet!

Shanna said...

Oops- that previous comment was from me- I didn't realize Kydon was logged in! :)

Adam and Lisa said...

Shanna - that is so sad about the other parent. I had parents do that to me on meet your teacher day with the child sitting right there. Even though I tried to be reassuring that it would be a great year, the parents would still insist that their child is the worst. It would always make me so sad for the child. You know they are embarrased because they want the new teacher to like them. And it's not like the teacher won't figure out the kid's faults - we spend enough time with them! I think your letter is great and it tells the teacher that you are a caring parent that loves and cares for her child. (Yes, the teacher is trying to feel you out as well - parents are more a part of the classroom than you would think).

Colleen said...

We are all well aware of our faults, and there are lots of people ready to point them out to us. You need to be a cheerleader for your child. Hip, Hip, Hooray for Abigail and her Mommmy!

Rebecca said...

Awww. The first day of PreK is such a big milestone! Congrats to Abigail! My house seemed so quiet Monday on the first day of school. It was nice, but I was ready when the boys got home. I love your letter!

Melinda & Matt said...

way to go Abigail! I liked your letter too...

Jen said...

Awwww...she's so cute! I love that age! We had our first day of school today and being the nerdy parent that I am I still insisted on walking with my kids and taking them to their classrooms even though they are in 5th grade. I'll be heartbroken when they decide they are too old or too cool for that.

ali said...

I don't think that's self centered at all, it's probably true! That breaks my heart though when I hear of other parents bringing their kids down like that. I think every child deserves a Mom and a Dad that think they are the greatest--though it can be harmful if it's overdone...

Astarte said...

I think you're probably right about them wanting to know about you, really, and what kind of dynamic you have at home. At least she was more subtle than the teacher that came to our home!!!

I agree about the other parent. On the one hand, I am very conscious not to brag about my children, especially if I don't know the person well. On the other hand, though, I would never begin a conversation with a teacher talking about how awful they were!!!!! Holy cow! I'll bet that woman's letter was TOTALLY single-spaced, folded just so, and the envelope was sealed with a special wax stamp or something. Yeesh. I'll be interested to hear if you get to know this person eventually, or her child.

Cecilee said...

What a little cutie! Love the outfit. Love the hair. We are getting pretty excited about preschool too. I LOVE it! I am just running out of things to do with Jenna. She is bored a lot and needs something more, you know? What is her schedule? Is it 4 days/week? Just wondering.

Shanna said...

Abigail's schedule is 4 days a week (Tues-Fri) from 9am-12noon. So far it has been just enough without being too much.

Holly Schwendiman said...

How do they get so big so fast? She's beautiful.

Hugs,
Holly