Now that we’re getting into this full day school groove, I must say that the most intriguing part of the day is the after school pick-up. Three things have stood out to me:
1. Grandparents rock. The majority of the parents at Michael’s school work outside of the home during the day. When, I go to pick him up, the majority of the people who are picking up the other kids are the grandparents. It’s so sweet to see the bond between the little kids and their grandparents. They yell their names and run to them. Some of them are granddads and it’s so sweet to see how their grandkids have them wrapped around their little fingers. It’s just so precious. I love it!
2. Teachers need to use discretion when praising and/or criticizing kids. Several kindergarten classes are let out where Michael gets out of school. One day, there was this teacher (not Michael’s) who released the first kid to his guardian. “He’s such a good boy,” she gushed. Of course, the guardian was smiling from ear to ear. (Who doesn’t want to hear how great the kid that they love is?) That wasn’t the problem. The problem was that she didn’t say anything else about the individual kids whom she released after him. I was looking at the other guardians’ faces and they were each waiting with expectation to see what she would say about their kids. Eventually, one of the parents said, “And how was he?” about her kid. “He was alright. He’s getting better.” the teacher replied. I could literally see the parent’s face drop. I felt so bad for her. The point: if the time is too short to comment on each kid, then don’t comment on any! Even better, save the commentary for one on one time. Pick-up time is hectic as it is…no need to add to it. (That’s just my opinion.)
3. I must never be late for pick-up. For safety reasons, the parents are not allowed to come inside the school. So, the kids are lined up by class and released to their parents/guardians. It is SO depressing when there isn’t someone to pick up a kid. The teachers will say, “Do you see anyone here for you?” and the poor little kid will peer through the crowd and sadly say, “No, there’s no one.” Then, they have to wait inside to the side of everyone else until someone comes to claim them. Awww. There’s one little boy in particular whose dad is consistently late. One day, the little boy sadly said, “Awww man. My dad’s not here. Here’s NEVER here on time to get me!” I know that I can be a “Mama Bear”, but I just wanted to claim him, so he wouldn’t look so miserable! (That’s where the paranoia kicks in. I have nightmares of me being stuck on a subway somewhere in Manhattan AND my kid being the one waiting in the corner forever because no one is there to pick him up! I know…I have “issues”. I was talking about this with other moms and I’m just happy to know that I’m not the only one with this fear!)