I think Alexi was a little anxious about going to school today. He didn’t say as much, but I could tell. When he woke me at 2:30 am I thought, no big deal, he probably had to pee. When he was up again at 3:00 am and again at 4:00 am to check the time, I knew something was up; even in a sleep-deprived state I knew something was up.
When I was in school and we brought home our end-of-the-year report cards home (all hand-written, I have so much respect for those teachers) the name of our teacher for the fall was printed on the report card. Two years ago our school board changed its policy and the future teachers’ names are no longer given out in June. I’m not 100% sure, but I suspect it had something to do with parents calling in and requesting their child be put in another teacher’s class.
What they do instead is on the first day of school they hold a big assembly and the classes are called out then and they leave with their teacher (yeah, no cause for an anxious child to worry, meet your new teacher in front of the entire school). I’ve known for a couple of weeks now that this was causing Alexi’s stress. Walking into a new situation is stressful for most children, but for Alexi even more so (he suffers from anxiety). He’s been acting out and that’s a sure sign he’s anxious about something. He’s been talking baby talk, playing a lot of video games (I didn’t think it was possible for him to play video games than he was before, but I have been proven wrong) and being really silly and purposefully annoying (I know you’re struggling with the idea of a pre-pubescent, 12-year-old boy being annoying, but trust me, it happens).
Last week I made the decision to call the Vice Principal and request the name of Alexi’s teacher. I left her a detailed message outlining my reasoning – to alleviate his anxiety and to set him up for a successful first of day school (I find professionals really like that term “set them up for a successful” whatever). She called back the next day and was happy to tell me that Alexi’s been assigned to Mrs. P’s class. Mrs. P. is new to the school this year, which is good and bad. Good because she may have some new ideas that haven’t been tried with Alexi yet, bad because Alexi has no idea what to expect from her – because she’s new he has never interacted with her in the hallways and there are no students who had her last year to ask about her.
The VP assured me that Mrs. P. is a wonderful teacher (like she’d say anything else, professional courtesy and all that), but I trust the teachers and faculty who know Alexi have chosen well for him (they always have in the past). She also told me that Alexi’s best friend, R., will be in his class. This was very good news as R. is one of the only boys in Alexi’s grade with whom (I hope I used that correctly) he feels safe.
It’s 2:30pm now. Rian will have just finished her first day of Gr. 9. Alexi still has an hour to go. High schools and public schools start and end at different times here because of busing. Should be interesting to hear what they have to tell me about their first day of school. I hope Alexi was able to stay awake – he opted to stay up after he got out of bed at 5:00am – that’s a pretty long day. I hope Rian was able to remember her lock combination – nothing like standing at your locker staring blankly at the lock in your hand to make you feel even more like a Minor Niner (been there, done that).
I can’t wait to ask them how their days were, but I’m pretty sure I’ll get responses like this: