After I learned that we were losing our nanny, I instantly started a quest to find the “perfect” person to watch my son after school. How hard could it be to find someone great for just a few hours each day? My requests seemed reasonable. So I started my search for a…
-active and engaged
It was mid-July and I still hadn’t found THE person. Not only did I not find Nanny McPhee… It seemed that I kept finding the exact opposite. I found myself thinking…”Well, that one wasn’t TOO bad.” In a momentary lapse of judgment, I almost offered the job to someone simply because she could work the hours. The words “responsible, active or smart” did not come to mind as I looked at this person and tried to imagine her with my son. A part of me was thinking that I was being paranoid and overly-critical. The other part of me… felt a bit sick to my stomach. I just couldn’t get excited about this decision and it was hovering over my summer like a hungry vulture.
As a teacher, I know about the need to reflect, evaluate and adjust; however, I hadn’t looked at any other solution for my problem.
After some thinking, it seemed that there was another option. So…after 20+ years of teaching school full time, I am switching things up. This coming school year, I am leaving my full time first grade position for a 1/2 day Kindergarten position. This decision wasn’t easy for me since I can be as inflexible as I describe my son. Not only am I changing grade levels (which I didn’t plan to do), switching grade level teams (I love those people!), packing and moving classrooms (the same room for 15+ years), but I will no longer sit in the same seat that I have claimed for YEARS of staff meetings! Wow!
As I think about all of these changes, I feel excited, panic, nervous, relieved, etc. However, I feel lucky that I have this opportunity and I know that my son wins with this decision. Truth of the matter is…when he wins, we all win.
I have really begun to embrace the idea of teaching Kindergarten. When I taught Kindergarten many, MANY years ago, I didn’t have children and I didn’t understand what it meant to be a parent. I’m not saying that all teachers should be parents, but for me…I was clueless about the faith that these parents were putting in me to care and educate their children.
Last year, my son attended a slightly shorter school day. Working 1/2 time, will allow me to accomodate his schedule in a way that wasn’t possible before. I will be able to do creative, enriching activities at a reasonable time of the day. We are continuing to look at the appropriateness of the curriculum and if home school will be necessary. If more adjustments need to be made, I will be able to do that.
This summer, I have witnessed tremendous growth in my son. He is taller, more mature, and has developed more social and problem solving skills. All of these are positive, but they remind me that he is my only…and that he will only be little for a short time. Although, I am a bit anxious about this new adventure…I know that I will not regret my decision!