Jeremy: Our big boy is a kindergartner! We were faced with having to decide whether he should attend our home school, Kratt, or attend kindergarten at my school. There were several factors to consider.
1) If Jeremy went to Kratt, kindergarten there is only half-day, so he'd actually be in daycare for more of the day than in school! In Central Unified, kindergarten is full-day.
2) I had taken a leave of absence the year Grace entered school to make sure that I could focus on her transition, and while we decided it wouldn't be an option for Jeremy's kindergarten year, having him come to my school would actually allow me to still be able to "be there" for him.
3) Harvest is far from our home, so it'd be out of the way should Jason ever need to drive him or pick him up.
4) Where would he go afterschool?
Well, in the end, we decided to have him come to my school. It has been GREAT! I have loved having him at my school. I get to help him get situated in the cafeteria for breakfast in the morning, I get to see him here and there throughout the day (cute watching him walk down the hallway with his classmates), I get to see who his friends are, I can talk to his teacher whenever I want, and then we leave together. Our afterschool program's director agreed to let Jeremy attend the program even though it's for 1st-6th graders. She figures that if Jeremy's ever any trouble, she could just send him back to me. So, I am able to continue prepping and working without having to entertain him afterschool. All of this sounds too good to be true, right? And yet, it's true! We are soooo thankful that everything worked out!
First Day of School- Kindergarten
(he said he chose to wear this top because "it's Harvest colors")
leaving for school together
Jeremy's teacher, Mrs. Ghelardi
Grace: Every year since kindergarten, I have walked Grace to her classroom on the first day of school. When I asked her if she wanted me to walk her this year, she thought for a few minutes before saying, "I think I'll try going on the bus this year." I felt a little emotional hearing that- a sign that my little girl is growing up!!! Definitely moving into "upper grade" this year! Good thing her school has a Meet and Greet where kids can come meet their teachers and see their classrooms. Our whole family went, and I was glad that I got to take some pictures and officially meet her teacher.
Grace's teacher, Mrs. Snyder
First Day of School- 4th Grade
Jane: Interestingly, I don't have anything to share about this new school year... In all honesty, I had imagined months prior that I too, would be starting something new this year. I applied to be our district's GATE instructional coach this past spring. As someone who has embraced differentiation in my classroom and has worked hard to incorporate varied learning opportunities for all learners, it was exciting to think that I could maybe help other teachers do the same for their students. I was very reluctant to try for such a position, but I received so much affirmation and doors kept opening that I decided to see where it could lead. It was an interesting process- I had to create a 10 minute presentation based on differentiation, instruction, and GATE principles and my interview panel consisted of six people. I have been told by several panel members that my interview was outstanding. However, I ended up not getting the job. When I got off the phone with our district GATE director, I truly felt no emotion- I was... surprised (not to sound overconfident, but I'm not joking when I say that I received a lot of affirmation and doors easily opened in the whole process). I wasn't upset, I didn't cry, I didn't feel rejected... I am usually a very emotional person and I cry easily. It was very strange to me, that I didn't feel any of that. In the weeks following, several things happened that made me think, "Gosh, I really am not ready to leave the classroom... I love being in here and having my own class, building personal relationships with my students, and I'm not ready to leave Harvest." All of these events just confirmed for me that I'm exactly where I need to be! Overall, I had a wonderful year last year- I am looking forward to another rewarding year and it's off to a good start!
Here's to 2013-2014!!!