Tomorrow is the kid’s first day back at school. Usually this doesn’t freak me out too bad. This year though, both of my younger kids will be changing schools – my younger son to the middle school, and my daughter to the 4/5 school. These are big changes for them both.
The middle school has had, for years, a horrible reputation. Last year, with a new principal, things seemed to have changed, especially for the special needs kids. All last year, I heard nothing but good reviews by many parents who had sent their kids with disabilities there. The Child Study Team that over sees their needs and education is a younger crowd, with new ideas and, I would assume, are educated – I don’t want to say better – but there has been a push to educate kids with special needs in the mainstream recently that just wasn’t the ideal when some of the older teachers/staff were going to college. There has been more of a focus on these kinds of kids than ever before.
But, even as I’m relieved that he is going into what looks like a pretty good situation, with a pretty solid IEP, I can’t help but worry how he will do faced with crowded halls, moving between classes by himself, and the harder work load. My son, however, is eager to get there and be a teenager, something he associates with going to middle school. He shows not a bit of anxiety or trepidation about going on to the bigger school. It’s all just me, lol.
On the other hand, there is my daughter, moving up from the elementary school into the 4/5 “mini-middle” school. She is in the “enrichment” class, which is the class for the “gifted” kids. She’s always done well in school. Her teachers brag about her manners, her kindness, how seriously she takes her work. Last year, her teacher (who was the sweetest woman ever) had come back to the new school year after just having a new baby. At our mid-year conference, she actually told me that “as a new mother” she could only hope that her daughter might turn out as wonderful as mine. (That sound you hear is me gagging and retching — my daughter is a good girl, but she’s not quite the same girl at home!)
Anyway, I wouldn’t be surprised if my 9 year old has given herself an ulcer by tomorrow, she’s so worried about going into a new school. She’s worried that she didn’t study her multiplication facts enough over the summer. What if she gets thrown out of the enrichment class? (I wouldn’t care less, as long as she’s doing her best.) What if her teacher doesn’t like her? What if, what if, what if?
Poor baby. She is a little bitty bundle of anxiety. Nothing I say, no amount of reassurances will make her feel better. She’s like this at the beginning of every school year (which always turns out fine).
For my part, supplies are bought, book bags are packed, checks are written out for lunch cards. Now all I need is a valium and a stiff drink!