Friday, August 27, 2010


Harper is a kindergartner!

Day one seems to have gone very well, despite the fact that the very first thing we ran into was a situation that would potentially be unsafe from an allergy standpoint. One that no one had thought about until this morning. If the students get to school before 8:05, they have to wait in the cafeteria until it is time to go into their rooms. No big deal, unless you consider that they've just finished serving breakfast in the cafeteria, the cafeteria with no peanut free table (yet). We had discussed no precautions to be taken to make that a safe situation. Now it isn't that big of a deal for this year. If we get to school a little early we'll wait on a side street until I can pull into the car line at 8:06. For today I just waited with her outside the cafeteria until it was time to walk her to her room.

Unfortunately being faced with that bit of uncertainty made me wonder what else we'd forgotten to consider and I left Harper at school with a very bad feeling (my bad feeling, not hers).

She was fine, of course, but I'm back in a head-space (as I am in each new school/situation) where my wheels are constantly turning, thinking of all the ways it could go wrong, a stone of worry planted firmly in my gut.

So I said my goodbyes and made it mostly out the door before being overwhelmed with worry and starting to cry. And I managed to make it back to the car before I really let loose, with poor, bewildered Michael wondering why I was sobbing into the steering wheel. Eventually I took a few deep breaths, pulled myself together, and Michael and I went on about our morning (breakfast with Nana, trip to the store, park visit).

Harper was beaming when she bounded down the sidewalk toward the car. She said she listened and met a new friend and thinks Mrs. X is going to be a good teacher. So there you go.

Incidentally, there are 25 children in her kindergarten class, which is on the large side. For those of you who also sent your kiddos off to kindergarten this year, how big are your classes?


Giselle said...

Oh, Kelsey. Just reading this my stomach was in knots. I can't imagine how hard it is to let Harper loose in new situations like this. I'm so proud of you for not losing it in front of Harper or even letting on about your anxieties. You are such an amazing mother.

Andrew's kindergarten had 28 students (as you probably remember from all my ranting last year). Add in two autistic kids and no was a hot,crazy mess. I'm still upset about it, although it worked out fine for Andrew, because he is, ahem, not the type of student that gets lost in a crowd. Since Harper is a slightly smarter but equally, ahem, talkative and imaginative child, I think she'll be fine. I had a friend with a quiet, shy child in the same class, and it was a truly unfortunate situation for her. Just kind of got forgotten in the chaos.

I'm sure Harper is going to have a fantastic year...

Val said...

My daughter hasn't started yet [another 2 wks] but her classroom will have approx 20 students in it. Usually they have 3 K classes, but the principal told us at orientation that there will be a 4th classroom added this year b'c there are 80 students registered for K. So my math says 80 students, 4 classes, approx 20 in each. :)

I'll let you know once she starts. I'm glad Harper had such a good day, sorry for your extra worries though. Yeesh!

Swistle said...

My first two kids had classrooms that were 21 or 22 kids (with two teachers and one assistant).

Jen said...

My first year of teaching, I had 25 kids in my kindergarten class and no aide. School lasted for 3 hours. By the time we took attendance, ate snacks, had recess, and restroom break, and had clean-up time, we only had approx. 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. for actual school each day. It was nearly impossible to give each child a decent amount of individual time to teach them to read. That's one of the reasons (on a long list) we decided to homeschool our 3 kids.

Harper will do great in school. You are an involved parent (& former teacher!) and that will help her tremendously. I'm looking forward to reading about her schooling adventures.

tracy said...

What beautiful first day pictures!

But oh Kelsey! The things you must have to worry about. I can't even imagine. I'm sorry that this worry overshadowed the first day. Hang in there.

I'm so glad to hear Harper loved it -- of course she did!

How was the alone time with Michael?

Anonymous said...

I'm just now reading this, so very late comment, but OMG 25 kindergarteners?? In the same room?? and some of the other comments mentioned 28? WOW.

I am a first grade teacher. I have 18 students - perfect number to me! Kinder classes are at about 20-22 each and are maxed out. State law mandates 22 to 1 ratio for 4th grade and under. Any student over the 22 per class will be sent to another school in the district.