I remember the very first day of school for each of my sweet boys. They both started in the toddler room at Baldwin Oaks Academy, a wonderful Montessori school in Orlando, at around eighteen (18) months each. That beginning for both of the boys set them up for success when they were little all the way to the present and I’m so thankful for the teachers they had to start them off.
When we moved to Miami in 2017, both boys transitioned to a local Montessori school and then to public school, Liam in kindergarten and Malcolm in pre-kindergarten. Again, their initial teachers set the tone for them in their transition to a completely different model and structure. Neither of them are really very good at sitting still and I’m sure starting them in an environment where there wasn’t a focus on sitting still while learning has affected how they approach their activities.
Last year was a complicated year. We started off online, transitioned to in school learning, and then back and forth a few times for quarantines as positive COVID cases came up in their classes. It wasn’t easy. As the school adjusted to all the changes, my kindergartener ended up with three different teachers and my 2nd grader had several classmates that came and went due to different changes with online versus in person adjustments.
This year is the start of first and third grade for my boys and a lot of changes for them academically as well as the ongoing worries about the delta virus and how the adults are handling safety measures or not around them. They’ve adjusted to masks and hand washing and not touching other people so much more smoothly than I’d anticipated. They totally absorbed the concept of wearing masks for the health and safety for the people around them, something that so many adults around us need to learn.
My prayers/wishes for this year is that …
- my boys will be able to learn without distractions;
- my boys will be able to connect to their teachers — for the first time, my third grader has two different teachers;
- my boys will be able to solidify existing friendships and connect to other friends;
- my boys will be able to feel safe to raise questions and concerns in class;
- my boys will be leaders in doing the right thing;
- my boys will be challenged in the things that are easy for them;
- my boys will be challenged in the things that aren’t so easy for them;
- my boys will learn to work well with others in groups, even if the members of the group aren’t friends or people they already know;
- my boys will try new things, whether in class or outside;
- my boys will find their unique place in the classroom and in their school;
- my boys will feel accepted by others;
- my boys will grow in their relationship with each other;
- my boys will see that academics are part of the school experience, not the whole experience;
As much as I can see and anticipate challenges before us this school year, I’m excited to see all of the experiences the boys will have and the changes/growth that will happen because of all the new things the boys will learn. Here we come 2021-2022 school year!!