Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Goodbye, Mrs. W


Oh, sorry Mom. Did I say that out loud?

Phone call from Mrs. W, N's kindy teacher, this afternoon. (They had YET ANOTHER DAY off of school today, for report-card prep. That means they haven't been in school since LAST TUESDAY. But I digress.)

You know it's not going to be good news when the teacher says, "Are you sitting down? I have something I have to tell you."

Mrs. W, Teacher of the Year at both our school and in our school district, is leaving My Kids' Elementary. As of the end of December. In other words, in about three weeks. (Winter break starts on the 19th, or thereabouts...I don't have my calendar at hand right now.)

It's a great move for her. She's going to be administering a new program for our school district, which has a HUGE Korean population (our school is 53% Korean, for instance) that will be promoting Korean/English bilingualism in both Korean- and English-speaking kindergarteners. At least that's what little I understood of what she was saying through my sobs.

She sounded kind of broken up as well, and admitted that it had been a really tough decision for her, because of having to leave this class, "and especially N, who's come so far," midstream.

She was funny about it, actually, though inadvertently so. Kept trying to be really upbeat, saying things like, "I'm sure N is going to be fine," but then being unable to stop herself from tacking on things like, "at least, I hope so." I hear ya, sister.

Since this literally came up in the last week, the hunt is now on for a kindy teacher who can show up by the first of the year and be ready, willing, and able to take on this class so that they don't have to deal with the upheaval of a series of substitute teachers. But there's no one in place yet, and no guarantees.

Can you imagine? My kid? The one who is only now really raising his hand and participating in class? The one who still often needs to whisper answers to Mrs. W, and still needs to hold her hand most days in order to make the transition from walking up to school with me and going in to the classroom by himself? Can you imagine him having to deal with a new face at the head of the class every couple of days? I can, and it's not pretty. It makes me want to weeeeeeeeeeeep. And, as you can tell, curse violently.

She's going to be sending home a notice tomorrow to the parents (I don't know how many of them she called personally like she did me), and she's going to be telling the kids at the end of the day, she said. She asked me to hold off on talking to N about it until then, because she wants to be the one who tells them about this herself; she feels, she said, like she owes that to them. She has already rehearsed what she's going to say, because she basically recited it for me (short, sweet, simple, reassuring). And, as she does, she gave me little parenting pointers about how to handle it when he gets home. ("Whatever he expresses about this, whether it's positive or negative, just let him get it out," she said. I've come to enjoy these 'teaching' moments from her, even though at first I found them a little condescending. She really does care, and she really wants to help.)

My guess is that we're going to be throwing away a lot more chewed-up shirts in January, after a few months in which the shirt-chewing had slowed to almost nothing. But, hopefully, N has gotten far enough in these few months that he'll adjust to whatever the school throws at him.

And if not? I shudder to think.

As I was typing this upstairs in my bedroom (don't ask; did I mention the kids have been out of school for the past SIX DAYS?), I heard the following exchange downstairs:

Baroy: N, did you take the sugar off the counter and eat it?
N: Yeah, I did. I'm just so sneaky!

Now that I think about it, maybe Mrs. W is just saying she got a new job...

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