Wednesday, September 07, 2011

First day of school

It was the kids' first day of school on Tuesday. As you can see, they met the day with shining, expectant faces!

Overall, it was a pretty smooth launch. Everyone got up and dressed early enough, the kids were in an upbeat mood, and we had time for a few small rituals. We usually do a blessing for the beginning of the school year -- we did that again, this time with our first-class relic of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton (patron saint of schools and schoolchildren) at hand. Then we had pictures, and we drove the kids into school.

For the first time, we did not go in with the kids. We've found that Jaybird does better separating at the car. Unfortunately, it was a rather chaotic scene when we dropped them off, and right away Jaybird got lost in the crowd and panicked. A teacher got Mouse, who guided her to her new classroom -- Mouse's old classroom.

Bear had shown signs of being nervous about the first day -- he has another new teacher (they're supposed to have the same one for three years in Montessori), so I think he was anxious about that. Mouse was worried about being separated from all her old friends and not having any friends in the classroom. Jaybird was a little anxious about the new routine in first grade -- not knowing the work and all.
Mudpuppy stayed home, but he has his own
"school" experiences on Tuesday and
Thursday mornings.

But when they finally came home, everyone gave a positive report. Bear had nothing but praise for his new teacher, especially the way she handled the class. He also said he was going to make a couple new friends this year. Mouse made a new friend, someone new to Bluffview. And Jaybird -- well, actually, she complained quite a bit about all the "sitting, sitting, sitting" they had to do on the first day while they went over the rules. Her experience may have been colored by the fact that she couldn't find her bus at the end of the day -- Mouse, who was supposed to guide her to the right bus, was nowhere to be seen, so she started to panic. That got the teachers' attention, and they spied Bear walking away from the school -- he had had our permission to walk home, but the teachers didn't know that, so they held him. They got Jaybird hooked up with Mouse on the right bus, and I got a call from Jaybird's teacher about Bear walking home around 2:30. It was so late at that point that I just went and picked him up with the car. (It's a half-hour walk home.)

Mouse and Jaybird spent over an hour on the bus ride home. It's incredibly ridiculous that they get home an hour after dismissal, given that we live 5 minutes from school; the bus drives right past the house all the way to the east end of town, then works its way back. I guess they lost a kid on the first day, which contributed to the delay, but they were really late again today. We'll see how this plays out....

Anyway, we ended the day with a special dinner, including double chocolate brownies for dessert. :)

Here's a video of the morning and homecoming. Sorry for the blurry middle section -- the camera started out out of focus and doesn't auto-focus once it's in video mode.