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.