“What do I need to know about your student?”
I remember staring at the teacher’s questionnaire blankly at the beginning of the school year. So many things. You will be with him for more waking hours every day than me. How can I possibly fit everything you need to know about him on those few lines? First grade is serious business – leagues above kindergarten (at least in a mother's mind) - and I have barely an hour to get to know this teacher and just a few blanks to fill in for her before leaving my little guy in her care.
Granted, my oldest goes to the same school, and we’ve been nothing but ecstatically happy there, so it really wasn’t that bad. I know that the staff and curriculum are fantastic. Though the added pressure of her starting junior high at the same time was no easy pill to swallow! How did we get to junior high already?!?!?!
I chuckled as I filled in my answer … the one thing I could think that the first grade teacher should be aware of regarding my son is that he LOVES to make people smile. And he’s good at it too! He’s a goofball for sure, constantly demanding I take his picture as he makes silly faces (and constantly “ruining” what are supposed to be nice photos with the same silly faces!). This is an absolutely wonderful quality in a person, of course, unless you are trying to control a classroom. So my “warning” was just that – he’s a happy kid who wants everyone else to be happy too, and he will do whatever it takes to make that happen.
At home, he’s constantly keeping us entertained. I know anytime I have a bad day I can just look at him and he will do something silly and I can’t help but laugh (and take his picture). Almost every time he got in any sort of trouble at school, it was for distracting other students with his antics.
At least I know he’s not a mean kid. He’s the soccer player who loses possession of the ball because someone on the other team fell and he stopped to help him up – not the guy with his elbows out, knocking over everyone he can. At school he was constantly receiving stickers for going out of his way to help his friends or to cheer them up when needed.
So it was really no surprise when the end of first grade came, and he brought home his class superlative award. I imagine you can guess what he earned…”Class Comedian: because we can always count on you to make us laugh.” Ha!
Now, what to say when I meet his second grade teacher …
Stacy Lamb of Apex is the divorced mom of two. She is an active member and former organizer of Single Parents of the Triangle. Find her here monthly.