I've enjoyed the network of families that I've found since my children have begun elementary school. I'm no longer in teacher mode, but mother mode when discussing our children together. Addy has a very close friend who lives in the next neighborhood, so we invited their family over for a Back To School cookout the night before the first day.
I love talking with Imogen because we are honest, we trade babysitting, and we have similar likes and dislikes. Another bonus is that we both have husbands who travel extensively for work so we can identify easily with one another. I recently wrote about A in a post Not Good Enough. Tuesday evening, we were talking about our Meet The Teacher experiences and what she said hit home to me as a mother and a teacher.
A's teacher had a scavenger hunt going on when the children arrived. Mrs. P began talking to A and showed her the clues. A was taking her time reading, but Mrs. P kept telling her the words. Imogen wanted to shout, "Stop telling her the words. She'll get it. She only needs time!" But, she didn't and then A said the words that break a mother's heart and my teacher heart..."I'm not a good reader!" Here is a young second grader, whose parents have read with her and read to her since she was a baby. Here is a girl who is loved by her family and they celebrate her big and small moments. Her mom knows she will figure out the story, but it takes her longer. She is 7 and already feels behind because she cannot read as fast as the kid next to her at school.
My heart went out to the mom and I talked with her and gave her some Mom/teacher ideas. Truly, A needs time like Leo the Late Bloomer, and be given the time to blossom.
So...I'm taking this story to heart and reminding myself daily that friends in my class need Time. Time to blossom, time to feel accepted, time to learn. As you are learning about your new students, remember they may need time to blossom this year.