Pete, Grandma, Grandpa, and I spent yesterday morning at Hannah’s school for the preschool end of year celebration. We finally got a glimpse of this secret life she’s been living since the end of February!
The transition to preschool has been a challenge for me, and it has nothing to do with PPTs and IEPs. Daycare has been my safe place for Hannah. I know the teachers, the other children, and most of the parents. Birth to Three had appointments there and could reassure me that Hannah was happy and well-cared for.
Public school is a whole different ballgame. As a working mom I don’t have the opportunity to do drop-off and pickup. I’m not able to chit-chat with parents. I don’t get to see Hannah’s classmates say hello to her. Until yesterday I didn’t know a single child or parent and only knew the staff who attended the PPTs. I feel like an outsider to a big part of my child’s life.
Even though Hannah’s teacher and service providers have been great with communication, they can only speak to the moments they witness. The star of the show doesn’t provide much feedback. Every night at bedtime I ask Hannah about her day and the conversation is almost always the same:
Me: Did you have a good day today?
Me: Who did you see at big girl school?
Hannah: [teacher’s name], [para’s name]
Me: Who else? What friends did you see?
Hannah: [preschool classmate], [unintelligible name], [daycare classmate]…A B C D E…
I’ve tried asking trick questions like “did you have art today or did you go to the moon?” The response is usually the same enthusiastic YEAH and occasionally blatant refusal to participate in my nosey-ness. It’s excruciating, as a parent, to have no idea if you’re child is enjoying school or not. To have no idea if she’s liked by her peers, if she’s excluded because she doesn’t talk to them, if she gets picked on. It’s excruciating to have little to no idea what your child, thought, or felt for half the day.
One thought on “Pre-K…that’s (almost) a wrap”
Lee, I don’t want to overstep, and my goal here isn’t to placate you; I know this is a month old post at this point, I have some comments none the less. If this gets too open/private/whatever feel free to do with it as you wish.
Jamie and I have our schedules pretty figured out; she usually does drop off, I usually do pick up. What I’ve seen at pick up time, typically around 4:30pm, is that Ms. Brielle tends to give Hannah her mostly undivided attention, the other teachers provide their attention to the other children; I know Ms. Brielle is Riley’s favorite, and am not surprised that she is Hannah’s as well. All of the children, for the most part, are somewhat self-focused; by that I mean, they are like leaves floating on a breeze, and only interact with the other children When they happen to bump into each other. Not that they are self centered, more that there is a lot going on internally and they are experiencing a lot of unfamiliar or new sensations, even without peer interaction. I have never once seen any of the children treat Hannah any differently compared to their other peers. Sure, the boys will some times turn themselves down to an 8 out of 10 around her, but they do that around the other girls as well; except around Mia who is a bit of a bruiser herself. I hope this information is useful to you; Jamie and I both work, so any information from other parents is always welcomed. We look forward to seeing you again, Riley had a great time with Hannah, and you, at the concert.