Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First Day Of School

Today was Ilya's first day of school. Kinda. It was the official first day of school for the classroom, but new students were only supposed to go to an open house in the afternoon rather than start with the regular class in the morning. Whatever. It still counts. She got nervous. I got nervous. We brushed her hair (probably should do that more often), washed her face (ditto), and showed up right on time. I'm not going to spend time describing how wonderful I think her classroom is or how great the teachers seam to be. Rather, I'd like to talk about what it is like being a parent on the first day of school.

Having taught for so many years, I have had more first days than I can remember. I'd get nervous at every one of them. The same kind of nervous I'd get when I interview. I have this weird perception that parents were looking for reasons to dislike me and it was my job to prove to them how likable and competent I am. I still feel that way sometimes when I tutor. While its true that I walked into Ilya's classroom looking for the signs of bad teaching (TVs in the corner, hypodermic needles on the shelves), I was much more concerned about whether or not the teachers liked my child. I'm pleased to announced that they all passed the test (really, who wouldn't like Ilya?) and so did their teaching - no TVs or needles in sight.

I guess my point is that while it is a pain as a teacher to have a parent who is constantly looking over your shoulder, it is absolutely terrifying as a parent to leave your child in the hands of someone you've just met. I truly believe that teaching is a partnership and that parents and teachers MUST work together, not just so that the child can be successful, but so that trust can exist and both the parent and teacher can feel supported and safe.

Speaking of something that has absolutely nothing to do with what I've just been talking about - I am now a photographer. Truly. I've made money. Some. But I really love it. I'm making a website to showcase my work and I'll post the link for you once its ready.

Also, its 6:30 and my child has not woken up from her nap yet. This is probably a bad thing. Or, it could be a really good thing. Regardless, I'm going to let her sleep because I am just that (lazy) caring.

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