Starting School Again

First Day of School

Photo: Schoology Blog

A year ago, I wrote about Anna’s anxiety on the eve of her first day of Kindergarten:

So far, Anna’s a bit at war with herself regarding Kindergarten. One moment she’s excited about it, the next moment she’s scared and doesn’t want to go.

The part she’s looking forward to the most is show-and-tell. I have no idea why, but she is obsessed with show-and tell. Her leading candidates are her Angelina Ballerina Doll, her shell collection, and as of Monday afternoon her new Japanese Minnie Mouse (dressed in a kimono and slippers). I don’t know how often they’ll have show-and-tell, but her first three turns are covered.

Other times she says she’s done with preschool, speech school (her private speech therapy), and swim class, and that’s all the school she’s taking. No Kindergarten. She is not going.

With a year of Kindergarten behind her, she’s not as anxious this year. Earlier this summer she briefly said she wasn’t going, but she’s so excited about seeing all her friends that her apprehension didn’t last long.

That said, there are a few things she’ll need to adjust to.

A new teacher. She made this transition before, but Ms. Linda was special: the first teacher she saw every day. She was the reason that Anna came home at the end of her first week wanting to be a teacher, and she still imitates Linda when she runs her “make-believe animal school.” A different teacher with a different personality and approach to the kids with take her a while to get used to, but I think she’ll adjust pretty quickly.

A full day. We’ve prepared her for this, but tomorrow will be the test. How will she handle an 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. school day? The two recesses will help, but it will still be an adjustment. And how will I handle it? Yes, I’m looking forward to the extra work time during the day, but the house will be real quiet those first few days. Maybe a bit too quiet.

Different kids. The morning and afternoon Kindergarten classes will be mixed up and split between the two first grade teachers. This means some familiar faces and some new ones. She worried about missing some of her friends from last year, and meeting new kids that may not like her. I’ve reminded her of two things: all the kids last year liked her—so why won’t these—and she’ll see all her friends at recess when the classes combine on the playground.

Desks. Anna has trouble sitting still and doesn’t like the thought of being stuck at a desk. Julia reminded her that the stuff in her desk was hers and no one else’s, and how much she’ll grow to like that. Anna didn’t seem convinced, but again I’m sure she’ll adjust.

I’m sure she’ll adjust to all the changes within the first week or so, and will soon love her class and her teacher as much as she did last year. She’s a smart girl, makes friends easily, and the changes she’s facing are nothing compared to the ones she dealt with last year. She’ll be fine.

As for me . . .

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