Thursday, August 21, 2008

Meet the Teacher~3rd grade!

Yesterday afternoon was the day that Gracie's new school posted the class lists + the classrooms would be open afterwards, so we made the trip over to the school to see who her teacher would be this year. I thought it was funny because there were sooo many people lined up waiting for the gym doors to open. Once they did open, people swarmed inside to the lists. We kind of hung back because I had all 3 girls (with Ellie in the huge travel system stroller) + I figured the lists weren't going to change even if I wasn't the first person in the door, right? Plus, I'll admit to being a little intimidated at this whole new school thing. I've been so used to being at Millbrook in Aiken and knowing so many people & teachers that I really felt like a 'fish out of water.' Thankfully, this kind of thing doesn't phase Gracie much at all! I know we were new to her school where she finished up last year, but that was different because we were there for such a short time and just kind of 'slipped in' without too many people even knowing we were there! I was really missing my friend Mary Beth who was my 'sidekick' at Millbrook! Never fear, I texted her throughout the whole process! :-)

Once we finally got inside, I had to send Gracie to squeeze up to the front to try to find her name because there was no way I was going to get my huge stroller up to where the lists were posted. She got up there and found her name but couldn't find where the teacher's name was. So...I ended up making my way up there to find out the teacher's name. In her defense, it was a hard name to read and was also hard to find among all the other things on the piece of paper.

We left the gym to try to find the classroom and quickly found the 3rd grade hallway. However, we couldn't find what we thought was the room number nor could we find her teacher's name listed on any of the signs. We saw lots of teachers standing outside the classrooms greeting students, but her teacher's name wasn't on any of the signs. I stopped and asked someone for help, and we were directed to her teacher who was actually standing right at the next doorway talking to some parents. Apparently she had gotten married over the summer, and they had her maiden name on the official class list, so there had been some confusion-and not just for us.

She was very friendly and told Gracie her sister lived on "Gracie Lane" which kind of 'broke the ice.' She had the classroom decorated very nicely and neatly. I always pay attention to these kinds of things! It was a good mix of still being "cute" but not too cute since 3rd grade is an "older" grade. She seemed like the kind of teacher who will be really sweet and will have lots of energy.

The official "Meet the Teacher" night wasn't until tonight, along with a "New Parent" meeting for parents & students new to the school and "Curriculum Night" where the teachers would go over different things pertaining to the class and school year. Chris wasn't able to meet us last night, so I told her we'd be back tonight so he could meet her.

So tonight we met Chris at the school. He was very happy that his commute to the school (which is about 2 blocks from our new house) was about 20 minutes or so FASTER than he currently has to our apartment. He's hoping that holds true once we actually move! We were early, so we let the girls play on the playground that is located in a park right next to the school. We are really happy that this park is within walking distance of our house and one of the neighborhood pools is right across the street too! I don't know what the deal was, but there was actually a really cool breeze blowing too!

When it was about time to go inside the school, we walked over to the front of the building where we had to wait outside until it was time to go inside. Again, there were TONS of parent & students there. Once it was time, we went inside and easily found her classroom where Mrs. Shah happily greeted Gracie and was able to meet Chris. There were various things to sign for areas where we were willing to volunteer then we went to the gym for the "New Parent" meeting. There were a lot of people there for that meeting. I am grateful that they held this meeting because they explained things like carline, paying for meals & checking grades online, and introducing the principal, asst. principals, nurse, counselor, P.E. coach, etc. Since we are a bilingual school, one of the asst. principals translated the meeting into Spanish which Gracie thought was pretty cool. The principal said that they understand we might want to walk our child in for the first day or so, and he said it is a district policy that we can do so for the first 3 days and then we need to let them walk in alone. It was funny the way he said it. He also said that the counselor would be in the Kindergarten hallway for the first week in case anyone (parents OR students) needed to cry. Again, it was funny the way he said it.

When that meeting was over, we went back to the classroom where Mrs. Shah explained all sorts of different things about how the class will be run throughout the year. Chris & I both are anticipating a great year based on all she told us. There were 18 students on the class list and probably 10 parents/sets of parents at our curriculum meeting then I think I saw 2 or 3 others coming in for the 2nd meeting, so I'm already impressed with the parent involvement. I thought it was sweet that one of the moms came up to us and asked about us being new (I think it was pretty obvious that we were the "new kids on the block" since most everyone else was chatting it up and we were sitting by ourselves!) and introduced herself and then introduced her daughter to Gracie.

Mrs. Shah was also very sweet to seem genuinely concerned about whether or not she answered our questions and really seemed to care about making us feel comfortable about being at a new school, so I appreciated that a lot. One thing she did that I loved is that right as parents were leaving she asked if we wanted to leave our child a little note that they could get Monday morning when they got to school. I was all over that! She got out a flower post it note pad and several of the parents wrote notes and left them for our children. Such a seemingly little thing, but I love those kinds of little things!

I can hardly believe my baby is going to start 3rd grade next week! Next year we'll have Katie going to Kindergarten too but THAT I CANNOT think about right now! We are anxiously awaiting moving into our house where we will be close enough to walk-it was neat to see little groups of parents/children walking down the sidewalks from their houses to the school. There were tons of cars also since not everyone lives within walking distance, but I'm glad we will...but not right next to it which is also good.

We should be closing on the house a week from today and then moving in 2 days later! Yippee! For the weekend, we have plans to go to some friend's house tomorrow night then more plans to have some different friends over to the apartment Saturday night. Once we move in, we hope to have lots of people over who have helped welcome us to Houston! Blessings abound!

Dear Lord,

Thank you for all of our blessings! Thank you so much that Gracie is able to start the school year where she will finish the school year-SUCH a huge blessing! Please bless her as she starts 3rd grade and help her to find her 'niche' at this school as she has at her other 2 schools. Please help Mrs. Shah to be a good teacher for her and please help her to be the teacher you want Gracie to have. Please help us to be a blessing to her during the year so she knows that we appreciate all the positive things she will be doing to teach Gracie. Please bless sweet Gracie with friends & wisdom and please her to continue to grow in her love for You and in her desire to learn about You. Please bless Katie & Ellie as well and help me to be the kind of mom to them & Gracie that I need to be. Thank you for how hard Chris works so that I can continue to stay home with my sweet girls which is exactly where I want to be right now! Thank you immensely for allowing us to find a house that we really love and please help us to truly make it our home that is built on You.

In Jesus' Name,


Kristen OQ said...

We went for our first Meet the Teacher night last night at Sam's new elem school. I am still a bit in denial that this is really happening! I know you are excited to get more settled in to your new house and school soon!

Jennifer Reinsch said...

I'm so glad that everything is going well with the new house, new school, Gracie starting school. I know that gives you a comforting feeling.

MB said...

Awww! i really miss you too!

MDM said...

We are in the same boat!! My girls have been at their new school for 2 weeks now and they LOVE it. I am still busy comparing every last thing to their old school. I am waiting for curriculum night that is not for another week to get to know some parents. We aren't allowed to walk our kiddos in either as of day 3 :( That is how i was planning to meet some parents. Oh well. All I know is my girls are way happy and I need to get over myself!!! You seem to be handling all of your transitions so well, but I know it is not easy. Take care and you have my prayers for Monday. Gracie seems so well-adjusted..that is awesome!

Miss Hope said...

I know when we moved, I had to let my then 2nd grader walk in all by herself. I cried the whole way home. I still can't believe I let her do that!! Now she's two years into her school and so very comfortable. Hang in there! I promise it gets better.

Did you notice the picture of the two of them(one with teacher)? They're dressed similar! How cool is that?