Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A different approach

So far, school has been a little different this year - in some ways for the better and some ways for the worse.

For the better ... Biscuit knows his way around the school, so whether we drop him out at the front door or at the multipurpose room, he knows how to get to where he's going.

Biscuit is more comfortable with the whole process. He said he was nervous about going into first grade because he thought it was going to be too hard. But after the first week, he realized that they picked up right where kindergarten left off.

I asked him Sunday afternoon, "So do you like your teacher?"

"Yes, yes I do," Biscuit said.

"That's really good," I told him. "Have you learned anything so far?"

"Um ... not really," he said. "We've been doing stuff, but it's nothing I don't know already."

Well, apparently that teacher better step up her game!

For the worse ... We feel a little out of the loop this go-round.

Before Biscuit started kindergarten, we were bombarded with information. I registered him in April. He had his assessment in May to tell where he was academically. We had a special kindergarten open house in July. Then we had the regular school open house in August, a week before school started.

We knew a lot about the teacher because she had filled out her profile on the staff section of the school's website. We had the teacher's email address. We knew what the kids would be doing in class. We knew when they would eat lunch and snack. We knew what and when all their field trips would be. We just had a better general knowledge of what was going on.

This time, things aren't quite as clear.

Biscuit's teacher has only taught fourth grade before now, so this is all new to her. Plus, and I don't know whether this is a bad sign or not, but Biscuit's teacher's name hasn't been moved from the fourth grade page on the website to the first grade. She's also the only teacher who doesn't have her profile information filled out. We don't even have her email address. We were also spoiled by Biscuit's kindergarten teacher. She sent a weekly newsletter giving us a heads-up on everything that was happening that week.

Biscuit came home the first day and informed me that this year, they eat their snack before they eat lunch. And nobody has told us what time each of those things happens. It's not just a matter of curiosity. What I pack depends for lunch and snack depends on how long it needs to stay hot or cold, i.e. thermal bowl or freezer packs. I'm planning to call the school to find out the times tomorrow, but it's the principal of the thing.

We have a curriculum night on Thursday, so I'm hoping we'll get some good information then.

I'm not sure if we were just spoiled by the first teacher or if the way this teacher works is more common. I hope it's just that she's finding her footing in first grade after that many years in fourth grade.

Cross your fingers that we'll find out more on Thursday.

Note: I wrote this Sunday evening and scheduled it to post Tuesday evening. On Monday afternoon, we got an email from Biscuit's teacher. It included some general information, along with a newsletter. So maybe I jumped the gun on my criticisms. Let's hope that communication will continue.

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