"Mommy! I can say 'sss...school'!" Miss C-Jaz says with the biggest grin. "I didn't say 'kool'. I can say 'sss...skin', not 'kin'. I can say 'sss...swimming', not 'pimming!" She laughs, and bounces, and wiggles. It's the best sound, the best sight, the best reason to smile.
Miss C-Jaz has officially participated in that big social event and kick off for a new school year that we all call 'The First Day of School'. For her, the next 3 weeks are about integration: a shorter period of time than her regular schedule. Some of the goals are to settle into a new routine, to meet the teacher, and to get to know classmates.
It was definitely a great day for Miss C-Jaz, and as much as J and I wish we could've been a part of her big day, she was in great hands with Ganma, and so my account is based on what I was told as I had my own First Day of School to conduct with my own class of Grade 1s, another story in itself that tested my abilities as a teacher in a way I hadn't anticipated.
My day with my new class ended at 12:15, and as soon as I got out of my staff meeting I called Ganma, excited to see what Miss C-Jaz's reactions were to her new environment and new experiences. For at least a month, we've been talking about her school and her new teacher, Ms. N, to prep for this big day.
At times c,onversations went like...
"Miss C-Jaz, do you remember Ms. N when we first met her after we came back from Sweden?"
"Ahh. Yah. I 'member."
"Do you remember what she looks like?"
"No. But I'm gona see her soon."
Other times it was to build excitement like...
"Who's going to school on Tuesday?" I'd say in a sing-song voice.
"Me-ee. I am!" Miss C-Jaz would respond mimicking my tone. "Yesssss!" she'd say thrusting an arm up into the air.
Thankfully, it was a very good day for Miss C-Jaz. Ganma said she was brave. She went into her classroom no problem. When Ganma and Ganpa left her, she was seated amidst the other kids, and by the time they returned to pick her up she was seated right beside Ms. N. Apparently Miss C-Jaz told me that she moved purposefully so she could be near Ms. N while also having a good view of the doorway so that when she saw Ganpa poke his head in a few minutes before the end of the class she said, "My Ganpa is here everybody. Bye! I've gotta go now."
Over the phone when I called Ganma I could hear Miss C-Jaz say there were lots of boys in her class and only 3 girls. Supposedly, 2 boys were crying for their moms. "But, I didn't cry Mommy," was what she said to me over the phone. "I didn't have to potty, too," which is always a good thing, right? Later in the evening she told me that there should be a separate class for girls and for boys, and she also said that Ms. N was like Mommy because she's a teacher. It always amazes me the connections she makes and to see how her brain works.
Miss C-Jaz definitely enjoyed her First Day of Pre-School! She has tomorrow off as part of her integration schedule, so hopefully Thursday is another day of 'grrrreat success'!
I can't believe my baby is growing up!!! *sigh*