Monday, January 30, 2006

preschool musings

This sweet picture of Ted was taken when he was 2.5, right after he started preschool at the JCC. He went on Tue/Thu from 9-1. There were 3 teachers in his class but the 'lead' teacher, Jeanne, was his favorite. She is firm but amazingly patient and loving. She is everything you could ever hope for in a child's teacher. By some stroke of good fortune, not only did Ted's Tue/Thu class remain intact (all the kids went to MWF this year) but Jeanne was again their lead teacher. Ted had some issues at the start of the school year and Jeanne was always so willing to talk to me and offer suggestions. Her #1 tip was to have Paul roughhouse with him more at home. He did and his wild behavior became much less of an issue at school. In dealing with the violin teacher predicament, I chatted with her and she told me something today that thrills me but also worries me a little. She confided that she is planning to 'recommend' that Ted be placed in a certain Pre-K class next year, not the other one. The other teacher, she said, is too strict for Ted. It is so important for the teacher and student to compliment each other at this young age, she said. Be willing to step in and demand he be switched to another teacher once he reaches public school, if he has problems at school, she emphasized. Ted will continue to be the sweet and loving child he is now, as long as the teacher knows how to deal with him. I've heard that before-Jeanne says you can't ever just attempt to shut him down when he's done something wrong. He requires a thorough discussion about the ins and outs of the situation and then he is over it and completely willing to change his behavior in the future. All this is a bit disturbing to me-who knew my mellow son was so particular? But then, it is also very exciting to have such an insight into his psyche, from a teacher's point of view. I seldom have the patience to talk to him about his infractions, preferring to focus on the person he has upset. And he deals with that, because I'm his mom and he has no choice. But what a pearl of wisdom for a parent: here is how your child works; deal with him this way and he will show you his best side. I didn't have a New Year's Resolution this year but I am making one now. I resolve to treat my child with the same love and patience that will help make him the happy and peaceful child he truly is. I can only hope Sam & Mae will be able to have Jeanne as a teacher sometime in their JCC experience.

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