Thursday, August 11, 2005

Tales of a Fourth Grade Offspring!

I took the Offspring to her teacher meet-and-greet today. She is excited to be entering the fourth grade, while her mother is still in shock at the fact that she's entering the fourth grade.

The Offspring was slightly shy upon meeting Mrs. Teacher, but once she got the vibe that Mrs. Teacher is pretty cool (like I'd ask her to be placed with some ogre, or something!), she came out of her shell a bit, and started asking questions. We talked about Mrs. T's expectations for the year -- the homework load, the schedule, the supply list. I like Mrs. T. She's been teaching gifted students for quite a few years, so I'm comfortable with my duckling being in her care. I know how many of her students in past years have gone on to successful middle school careers, so that's also another thing that set my mind to ease.

The Offspring was overjoyed to see that she knows 17 of the 28 other children in her class. I just marvel at the fact that you can *put* 29 children in a classroom. Thanks, Bush! That whole "No Child Left Behind" is really having an impact on lowering the size of classrooms! My district's student-to-teacher ratio went up this year! I'm not all that worried about these kids causing a lot of trouble, though. Most of them are classified as gifted as well, and they've all been in the program together for a while. I just hope that there isn't that one child who can throw the whole classroom off.

So, the Offspring finds her voice to ask the *really* important question -- "Will we have snack time and Fun Fridays?" She's happy to learn that the answer to both is "yes" but Mrs. T stresses that the Fun Friday is always optional, based on behavior. Good to know that she'll be a "fun teacher", but that she will also be a firm teacher.

Once Mrs. T starts asking her questions, my "shy" child busts out with: "I'm smart, too!" And, apparently, modest as all get-out. I warn Mrs. T not to seat Offspring with First Grade Friend as they will talk and get each other into trouble. I also warn Mrs. T of Offspring's propensity to read when she's not supposed to be reading. My adorable child then narcs me out, saying her Gifted Teacher (who was also *my* third grade teacher, lo those many years ago) Mrs. A., tells the tale that *I* used to get in trouble for that self- same thing. My own flesh and blood. Traitor. So, here I am, 34 years old, and still getting in trouble for stuff I did in third grade!

Offspring socializes with the other kids who've come to the meet-and-greet. She already has a crowd around her, and I realize that I will be seeing this sight more and more often -- my child, from across the room, living her own life. It's a rude awakening to think that just five years ago, she clung to my leg, and *begged* me not to leave her at school. Now, she's wishing for the first day to hurry up and get here. I used to joke with her that I plan to lock her in a closet, and put a brick on her head to keep her from growing; now, I just want to hold in my mind that picture of a teary-eyed toddler with a backpack full of promises and new school supplies. I still might do the brick thing, though.


purple_kangaroo said...

LOL, if that's the most embarrassing thing she said to the teacher, count yourself lucky. I just know my time is coming in retaliation for some of the ways I horribly embarrassed my parents as a child.

KLee said...

Oh, don't misunderstand...I horribly embarrass her on many occasions....this just didn't happen to be one of them. It was rare that I didn't embarrass her, but she was too busy being the social butterfly to be aware of me.


JF lives in fear that he'll one day embarrass her so terribly because of the juggling. He takes about six balls with him, wherever he goes. And, he takes his clubs (and sometimes the rings) to with him in the fall and winter. Spring and summer are usually too hot. He came to my school to juggle for all of the kindergarteners last year, and she thought that was pretty cool, but he harbored a suspicion that she was just relieved that he wasn't coming to HER school. :)

We're parents. We're, by nature, embarrassing.

ccw said...

Great post! We are off to meet the new 4th grade teacher in a couple of weeks. I, too, am in shock that 4th grade is here. It doesn't seem possible. This is her last year of elementary school and I am sad. She, however, is thrilled to finally be at the "top" of the school.

I always got in trouble for talking in class and my daughter loves to tell all of her teachers.

Phantom Scribbler said...

My son went to day camp this summer -- his first real independent experience (he starts preschool in the fall). I'm still not quite over the shock of him learning from and hanging out with other adults who are not me or my husband.

Take it from one with reallllllly short kids. They still get older even if you put bricks on their heads...

Running2Ks said...

I love it -- getting in trouble for reading. You are such a delinquent LOL. I got in trouble for it too ;)

Yankee T said...

The time goes so fast. I look at my girls and cannot believe how the brick thing didn't work. 4th grade was a great year for both of them.

KLee said...

Okay -- note to self: find better option than the brick thing.

Well, it tore my heart, letting her go to PreK, but it gets easier each year. I just am amazed how much assertiveness she's gained over the summer. She used to be more shy with adults, and she's really blossoming.

She's got the opportunity to audition for the traveling players acting troupe her school puts on this year, and that's something she's wanted to be a part of since she began going to the school. I hope that she makes it, and I hope that it also helps increase her confidence level even more.

halloweenlover said...

She sounds so cute! My dad used to threaten to put me in a box to keep me from growing. He never actually did it, but it could work : )

RussianViolets said...

I got my knuckles cracked by Sr. Sledge for reading something else during religion class. Tee hee!