Back to School

September 4, 2009

Yesterday was the first day of school of the 2009-2010 school year for the kids; D’Arcy was back last week getting his First Aid re-certified and then had meetings earlier in the week.  Teacher stuff.

We had a fantastic summer here, full of family, friends, fun & freedom from a schedule. (For the most part…)

The boys were apprehensive about getting back to their new school, so we talked about it a lot, and about what the changes might be like.  When they moved to the new school in January, they moved up with their classes and teachers in tact to make the transition easier.  As of yesterday, the kids are all mixed in together, meaning that there are 5-6 kids from each of the four schools making up a class.  The boys spent the whole summer wondering which of their classmates would be in their new class(es).

Evan was the most apprehensive, and was awake from 3:30 – 5:30 a.m. the night before school.  (I ended up getting into bed with him!!)  Alex was excited to be moving up onto the same floor as Evan and liked the fact they will now share a recess & lunch hour.  He was also happy because he was assigned to the same Gr. 3 teacher that Evan had, so she was familiar!  They had all their school supplies labled, packed & ready to go.  (For the life of me, I can’t wait to see how much work the Gr. 3’s do since Alex’s school supply list asked for 28 duotangs, four scribblers, three pocket folders, four lg. gluesticks, a bottle of white glue and two pair of scissors – among other things!!  Is learning how to cut with both hands at the same time a Gr. 3 outcome?)

The boys were up bright & early and D’Arcy made them each an egg-in-the-hole for breakfast while I packed their lunches.  Alex asked for a ham sandwich, carrot sticks with ranch dip, juice & a cookie while Evan asked for a cucumber sandwich, canned pears, a juice box & a cookie.  (I also gave him a piece of cheese which came back after school!!)  My mother was kind enough to come to our place at 7 a.m. so that we could take the obligatory first day of school photos then both accompany the boys to the bus stop for the first day.  (The bus picks them up at 7:15 and Olivia was still sleeping!)

First day of Grade 3 & Grade 5!!

First day of Grade 3 & Grade 5!!

D'Arcy is still at the same high school, teaching Gr. 9 & 10 Science

D'Arcy is still at the same high school, teaching Gr. 9 & 10 Science

The happy crew at the bus stop.  By Hallowe'en, they will be waiting in the dark in the mornings!

The happy crew at the bus stop. By Hallowe'en, they will be waiting in the dark in the mornings!

It seemed like a very quiet, very long day around here without them here.  I’m one of those moms who actually feels let down when school is back in and they’re not home everyday.  (I’d better get over that before they head off to post-secondary education…)

They arrived off the bus happy, and each reported that they’d had a good day.  They each saw their “old” friends at recess and at lunch and Evan was happy that his friends had even waited for him and saved him a seat!  They seem mostly happy with their new classes, although Alex didn’t know any of the other kids who didn’t come from his own class but Evan knew most of the others in his.  Evan was thrilled that his teacher knows D’Arcy and said to say hi to him  (She used to teach at the high school where D’Arcy teaches…) but Alex had a substitute.  Not sure what’s up with that; he wasn’t able to tell me exactly what her name is, but was told that she’d be there at least until the 18th!  I don’t know if she was a last minute hire, but there was no note in his agenda, so we’ll hope for some info today.

I have ranted about the “new school” enough in the past and I’m trying to keep an open mind about this year.  Perhaps I’m more critical than most, coming from a family full of teachers and having higher expectations for the quality of our children’s education than some people might.  However, if at the high school level they take the students into the auditorium and each teacher calls out the names on his or her class list then personally takes these students to their classroom, why would you ever allow close to 600 students in Primary – Gr. 5 to wander through the halls looking for their classrooms?!

It must have been bedlam.

Alex, of course, was looking for Ms. L, but couldn’t find her.  He told me that the substitute did see that he was looking confused and asked who he was looking for then guided him into his room.  Evan had no problem as he’s pretty self-sufficient, but some kids didn’t even know who their teachers were supposed to be because it had been written in their report cards in June.

Oh my – so much for my assurances to them that everything would be much better organized this year!  What was I thinking, considering the school website has not been updated and still states that they are looking forward to getting the keys to the school on December 14th…  (Sigh.)

The boys were quite happy to go back today, and the bus will be bringing them home shortly.  I can’t wait to hear what today brought…

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