Part of the excitement about going back to school is finding out who the teacher is going to be. Sure, kids want to see their friends again, but they wonder if they’ll like the person charged with teaching them how to spell and do subtraction. After all, by the time they’re in Grade 2 they can choose their friends, but not the teacher.
As a parent this relationship is fraught with even more tension. I hope my child’s teacher will be kind and fair, and inspire my daughter to meet her potential. On top of all that, I hope she loves her job; that she thrives on being in a nosiy classroom with my kid every day. A tall order, I know. So I was pretty excited when I met Avery’s teacher. Not only is she young and pretty (traits that will take you far with seven-year-olds), she’s nice. And she loves field trips. And art! It’s a good start.
But what really impressed me was the little cellophane baggie she sent home yesterday with each student. Onto the living room floor Avery dumped out nine stars, one penny, two paper clips, a sticker, an eraser, a pencil, one gold ribbon, a rubber band, a pipe cleaner and a Band-Aid:
This first-day-of-school goody bag didn’t make sense until we read the note:
I love that Avery’s teacher took the time to assemble this welcome bag that packed some important messages to impart to little kids, like remember to do your best, and every child has worth. It gave me a huge warm fuzzy.
I also love that Avery could read the entire note and that she immediately zeroed in on her favourite messages. “I like the gold ribbon, the stars, the eraser and the sticker, Mommy.” For a kid who often strives for perfection, I think Avery was relieved to learn that her new teacher thinks it’s okay to make mistakes as part of learning. Hooray!
I’m sure Avery will periodically forget that hurt feelings go hand in hand with school (and that Band-Aids help all kinds of boo-boos), and she might “stick” better with some classmates than with others, but no matter. I could have sat her down and tried explaining all these points to my seven-year-old. Sometimes though, it’s better to show than tell. Mrs. Pomerleau gets that — she illustrated her points beautifully, in a way that was easy for a Grade 2 student to grasp. I think it’s going to be a great year.