And I’m only a week late. 🙂 School started last Tuesday for the “big 3”, as we call them. Actually, school started August 5th, but we didn’t transfer them in until Tuesday. Let me back up:
Last year Trysten attended a school called Lincoln Academy. We had transferred him there from Buffalo Elementary for a number of reasons but one of the main ones was because Lincoln had
a population that resembled our family a really diverse student population. It was a great school, Trysten had an awesome teacher that was constantly challenging him (his teacher one day told me that Trysten keeps him up at night trying to find ways to keep him challenged, I appreciated that more than I can say!) and he really learned so much socially as well.
But then we brought home our newest boys earlier than we thought we would so we had stuff to look into. Lincoln does not have an ESL (English as a second language) program, which troubled us seeings Tomas speaks no English. After much research, Zach found a school within our district that has both a full time ESL teacher and a speech and language therapist. This ESL teacher agreed to test Tomas to make sure he needed it. Since he clearly
copies everything we say not knowing what it means doesn’t speak any English, she agreed he needed lots of help.
After taking a tour through the building we remembered that one of Zach’s very best friend’s moms was the Kindergarten teacher and one of Zach’s brother’s friends was the principal. We also knew a handful of other teachers through the building as well. The principal was dynamic, and enthusiastic, we got to see the teachers interacting, it was all very good.
I told Trysten that if he had strong objections to transferring to Monroe than we would
pretend to hear him out, we didn’t want to make this decision without him (this would be his 3rd school in 3 years we suck). Trysten said the only reason he wanted to go to Lincoln was because he knew his way around and knew the expectations of his teachers. He wasn’t at all upset to hear we would probably transfer, knowing his brother needed the extra help.
So we signed them up. Tariku would be in our friend’s mom’s class (praise God!), Tomas would be in a 1st grade class that also has Vietnamese and Spanish speaking ESL kids, and Trysten was
getting nothing in the deal in a class with a teacher that came highly recommended.
Before they even started we toured the building one more time. This was just 2 days after our first meeting at Monroe and already Tariku and Tomas’ teachers had their desks with their names on it, water bottles with their names on it and lockers with-you guessed it-their names on it. Tomas’ teacher told us she had told the kids all about Tomas and had done a little research on Ethiopia. The kids were fighting over who got Tomas as their “school buddy”, until one of the kids “claimed” his dad was from Africa so naturally, he won. How amazing is that?
Anyway, Tuesday they started. Trysten was visibly nervous, Tomas was jumping out of his skin excited and Tariku was a mix of both.
I dropped them off the first week while the bus routes changed to include us (we live 20 minutes from the school). This was a blessing, I got to take lots of pictures for the first day!
Tariku and his teacher (who we just love!)
Outside his class
Trysten’s class on the first day.
I didn’t get any of Tomas, to be honest
I was scared poopless I was preoccupied with making sure he knew we were coming to get him after school, that he knew I loved him, that his teacher saw him and held his hand as he walked through the threshold of his class, that he saw my big dumb-ass grin and ridiculous wave. That he knew I was his mom and he was my baby, trudging off to school for the first time.
I cried. Probably more so for Tariku than anyone else. Tariku is one of those who lacks a little self confidene. He is very sure of himself when he is
absolutely wrong talking about things outside of academics but when it comes to learning or letters or numbers, unless he’s 100% sure-he won’t answer or he’ll constantly second guess himself. It’s heartbreaking to watch one of the smartest kids I know hold so much self doubt.
But they all did well. All of them have made new friends, Tomas was sad to hear he wouldn’t be going to school today or tomorrow. Tomas’ teacher is making next week “Ethiopia week”. They will greet each other with “Selam” (“hello” in ET) and say good bye with “chao” (“good bye” in ET). The teacher is doing a presentation on Ethiopia and will ask Tomas the words for certain animals, etc. As she said, “Tomas will learn a lot from us this year but we might learn even more from him!” Seriously? Brings tears to my eyes thinking of God’s abundance in this particular issue.
Tariku’s teacher came up to me the second day, “So we have a little perfectionist on our hands, eh?” Yeah, pretty much. Turns out he started crying when he kept messing up the lowercase A. “From whom might he get that?” She asks. She’s known Zach since he was just a wee one so she knew he wasn’t one and since I
haven’t given my kids a bath in a week don’t hold the typical markings of a perfectionist either it must mean this is a nature thing and not a nurture.
And Trysten, it turns out, has 3 other kids who have transferred in from different schools. He’s made fast friends and even got invited to a birthday party already. Trysten told me yesterday that he wants to go back to Monroe next year so I think that’s a good sign.
There you have it, first week of school summed up. “The littles” start preschool on Monday so be excited for a post on those 2 crazies on Monday. As for Monroe, it looks like we’ve
finally made one good decision!