I was reminded of Maribeth Boelts’s picture book I used to read to my students, When It’s the Last Day of School as I drove Isabelle to school today. Even though we have a class field trip to a farm next week, today was the last day we’d be in the school building for this school year. As I recalled Boelts’ book, I made a mental note to capture as much as I could in my mind today. I wanted to take note of how much has changed since Isabelle (and I) started Parent/Child Class in September.
THEN AND NOW
In September two and a half hour class felt long. I would trail Isabelle around the classroom as she toddled around “exploring.”
In May each two and a half hour class feels short. I can sit and talk with other parents and watch Isabelle from a distance.
In September Isabelle opened all of the teacher’s cabinets looking for treasures. One time she even unloaded all of the felt from one of them!
In May Isabelle knows her way around the classroom. She’ll occasionally open a cabinet, but I think it’s just to see if I’m paying attention.
In September Isabelle wouldn’t eat the snacks the teacher served. I had to bring my own bag of snacks for her.
In May Isabelle enjoys the pretzels and some of the muffins the teacher makes. She tries everything that’s presented to her.
In September Isabelle was so busy “exploring” that she didn’t even realize there was a snack being prepared by the other kids and parents.
In May Isabelle takes turns stirring the muffin batter, oiling the baking sheets, and sprinkling cinnamon on top of the cinnamon roll dough.
In September Isabelle would flit from one activity to another. Her play lacked purpose.
In May Isabelle can entertain herself with activities. She engages in pretend play with the baby dolls and by having tea parties with other kids.
In September I had to constantly supervise Isabelle. I had no time to do the craft projects.
In May I can keep my eye on Isabelle without hovering. I’ve been able to make felted slippers.
In September Isabelle wasn’t quite steady on her feet.
In May Isabelle is climbing on things she isn’t supposed to have her feet on. She takes risks and tries obstacle courses and the curvy board on a regular basis.
In September Isabelle could barely make it through circle time. She was not engaged in any of the songs.
In May Isabelle enjoys participating in circle time. While she may occasionally stray, she participates and tries to make the hand gestures in the songs.
In September Isabelle was unable to make it through story time. In fact, she seemed completely uninterested in the puppet play.
In May Isabelle can sit through story time. She delights in watching her teacher’s puppets and figures come to life.
Oh what a change in my little girl in just a few months’ time. Thanks to the predictable rhythm and routines her teacher established, Isabelle was able to adapt to her classroom. She was so young when school started in September… not even two. Now she’s steadier on her feet, willing to engage with other kids, and a child who loves school. What more could an educator ask for!??!