Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Feeling snarly

I went to pick up Eve from school and came home with what feels like a nasty, tangled yarn-ball of upsetness in my stomach. I will herein attempt to untangle these grimy strands of emotion - lucky you.

Eve has had four teachers thus far: her English homeroom teacher, who she adores; a French teacher, who she likes; a male science teacher who she triple-extra-special adores; and a music, art and dance teacher who she really likes. Today she came out of the portable looking extremely downcast and handed me a letter informing us that science and music, art and dance will now all be taught by the French teacher, due to 'increased enrollment'.

1) This sucks. She was so excited to have the science teacher, who has taught Angus and who all the kids love. He had her all fired up. About rocks. Seriously - we were walking home from my Mom and Dad's the other day and she explained the entire life cycle of a rock to me, and then said her favourite rock was obviously sedimentary because hello, it's AWESOME, and then metamorphic, which is only slightly less awesome, and then igneous, which I guess is the least awesome but still, fairly awesome. On library day she got a book on rocks and minerals so she could do extra study.

2) This sucks. The teacher they had for music, art and dance runs the dance club at recess in her spare time. Clearly, she has expertise and enthusiasm for dance. Her last name is hyphenated and the second part is -- I shit you not -- DANCE.

3) This is not a huge deal. Shit happens. It's a good school and Eve is a good student and she will learn about rocks no matter who is teaching. We still have the awesome homeroom teacher. Kids are adaptable.

4) This is insulting. The letter from the principal says brightly that she is 'confident that the transition will be seamless' and that she's happy that the kids will have fewer teacher contacts. Well bullshit, the transition is already not seamless - I took Eve for a haircut after school and she started telling our hairdresser about it and almost started crying. There's no way kids aren't affected by this, even if the disruption is temporary and they eventually adapt. And I actually don't think that fewer teacher contacts are necessarily a great thing - if a particular student has issues with a particular teacher, sometimes it's a good thing if they're not together all day every day.

5) This is life. Things change, and sometimes undesirable changes are unavoidable. Which sucks.

6) I shouldn't be as upset as Eve is. When Angus started JK and he was supposed to do a book presentation and I realized near dismissal time that he'd forgotten his book at home and almost had a nervous breakdown, I had to start learning that I couldn't go through school with them experiencing all the same fears and anxieties I did the first time around at the same level. I have to keep learning this over and over again.

7) I don't have to tell Eve that she shouldn't be upset. She's allowed to be upset. Because this sucks.

Okay. I've unraveled my tangled skein of sensibilities. I've discovered that ninety percent of it is major suckage. I've just told Eve she can have ice cream before supper and watch Glee and she said "You're going to let me drown my emotions?" Yes. Yes I am. Sometimes losing a really great science teacher hurts as badly as losing a boyfriend. And sometimes, instead of unbraiding your feelings, it's better to just pile two scoops of mint chocolate chip on top of them.












9 comments:

Nicole said...

Aw. We had increased enrollment in our school - unexpected enrollment of fifty extra students. For the first ten days of school, the kids were in classes of 38 kids, until they figured out the new classrooms, hired new teachers, etc. Jake was already adapting to having a different teacher, then he had to move to another class with another teacher. I mean, it's fine, but transitions are not seamless. That's why they are transitions.

Kim said...

Man, that SUCKS. I know it's not the end of the world, but science is cool, and nothing in this world is like a science geek who really loves sharing the geeky cool of science.

I'm trying to imagine what I would be like if I had spent the summer lesson planning for one subject and wound up with a bunch more, especially stuff outside my specialization. Swear words would abound.

StephLove said...

Oh, I'm sorry. Having an extraordinary teacher is such a deal-changer sometimes. It sounds like the replacement is fine, but fine is not the same as extra-triple adore.

I bet it's also hard for the teachers, especially the one teaching new material, as Kim noted.

I know what you mean about being as upset as the kids. For me it's any social difficulty they have at school. I over-react because I have a history there. I may write about that soon. Or not.

Maggie said...

Ugh I hate school things like this. Yes, I know it's not world-ending and the kids will adapt, but that doesn't mean I have to embrace it with love from minute one. They go through transition, it makes it rough at home sometimes, I worry about it, etc. It stinks.

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

Super suckage. School has been nothing but stressful for us this year. I have a feeling it may always be. I hear you on not getting as emotionally attached to these things as our kids are. It's hard sometimes. All the time.

Hannah said...

At the end of last year, budget cuts meant a whole lot of teachers lost their jobs. And we all said "hey, enrollment doesn't have to jump very much before these classes will exceed the cap and then what?" Lo & behold, our school board is hiring 75 teachers back again this month because so many elementary schools have classes bulging at the seams.

"Seamless transition" my ass. I hate hate HATE it when school administrators talk to parents like they're four years old. Tell us the truth. Acknowledge the situation. Give us the tools we need to help our kids get through it as gently as possible.

And I hear you about learning to take a step back. That was the hardest thing for me during H's first year of school. It's getting better, mostly because I have too many things on my plate to worry about it as much. But it's still hard. Hugs, mama.

ERINJK said...

You're a good mom... you gave her ice cream! & mint ice cream is the best;)
She'll adjust, better it is earlier in the year than the middle!
The less you stress about it, she'll feel better about it too...Chin up! It's almost the weekend lol

Mary Lynn said...

This part?

"I had to start learning that I couldn't go through school with them experiencing all the same fears and anxieties I did the first time around at the same level."

I sooooo need to learn that. I find it so hard not to get stressed it by their stressful times. It's like I'm in elementary school all over again...

Amber Strocel said...

Watching my kid go through school pushes all of my buttons, big-time. I actually think it's worse as the parent than it was as the kid. Because, like they say, kids are resilient. I'm not so much anymore.

Sending your child to school is an act of trust. When I feel like a teacher likes my kid, and understands that kid, it all feels better. When I feel like a teacher doesn't, or I feel like my kid has gotten a raw deal, it's awful. I'm powerless to do that thing I really want to do, which is make everything good for my baby.

Like you said, Eve will be fine. You'll be fine. But I don't blame you for feeling snarly over the whole thing. I would, too.