He was quiet as a mouse yet the look on his face spoke volumes. He was scared. I stood by his side, as many of the parents did on the 1st of school. I was thankful that the kids at this new school did not seem to be worried about the un-coolness of having a parent nearby. The parents talked amoungst themselves, while their uniformed kids stood in straight lines like in the children’s book Madeline.
His new teacher for the year was among the crowd. Bubbling with enthusiasm, she smiled and greeted each child one by one. Right away, she noticed him and introduced herself and asked for his name. Then she introduced him to some of the other boys in the class. Try as he might, his smile would not come out. They walked in two straight lines and, as the entered the building they did not utter a peep.
At the end of the day, I arrived to a daycare center where the kids did not yell but talked in quiet voices. I have to admit, it was a nice change from the previous center, where the loud noise was deafening. When I saw him playing a game all by himself I began to second guess the decision to change schools. But, when I finally asked him how his day he told me about the many kids that he had played with, some who were even on his football team. He talked about the things that the class was going to do in the school year, including a fieldtrip. He sounded excited. He even reported that had homework and, with pride, he noted that he had it partially completed.
When he wasn’t looking, I pulled out his backpack to find the 13-pocket portfolio we were instructed to purchase neatly labeled with the various subjects. There was one page of homework completed in his best handwriting in one of the pockets. He also had a new homework planner which had two assignments neatly recorded beside the corresponding subjects.
One might guess that they don’t fool around at the new school. I had warned my son that the new school would be more challenging accademically. It appears that I was right. I suspect that we might just get our money’s worth out of this investment in his future. By the looks of it, he is up to the challenge.
This morning, he was the first to the line. He stood there confidently, ready to lead the class into the building. I left before the bell rang.