This is Bowie’s second year at preschool. It’s a co-op preschool, so it’s totally run, top to bottom, by the parents. Well, there is a director, an assistant director and two teachers to guide us, but the rest of the stuff: supervising the children with activities, providing and serving snack, cleaning the school, purchasing supplies, fundraising, etc. We, the parents, do all of that.
It’s a tough thing to get used to, having it be YOUR school and all. But, I dig it. All the parents get to know each other, and a solid community is built. It’s great for the kids AND great for the parents. Anyway, whatever, I’m not trying to sell you on the school. It’s just that, there’s a lot to learn. And, we started late (in December) because another family had dropped out (hey, thanks by the way!), so it was even harder to fully fit in, having not gone through the official new-parent orientation and all of that. I felt like the new kid at school. For the entire year.
Dealing with the kids is especially difficult. There’s a whole philosophy and methodology surrounding how we take care of less-than-desirable behaviors. Sometimes it can be a challenge to find the right words to say, and to get the children to listen. A lot of times last year, I fumbled it, and a teacher or more seasoned parent had to step in, and it was…well, not embarrassing, but…just frustrating. I felt like a fraud or something. I was afraid they would think I didn’t care, when I really did, very much.
This year, we’re kind of old hat. But, I didn’t expect it to feel that way. I still expected to feel a little out of place, a little nervous, a little unsure. As I started meeting some of the new families, I saw myself in their faces. They were all nervous and unsure, afraid of doing the wrong thing.
My first workday back (we do one workday per week), I fell right back into the routine. Only this time? I knew what to do. I knew what to say. I knew where to find stuff. I knew when to step back, let a teacher handle it, and not beat myself up over it. What is this strange feeling? I think they call it…CONFIDENCE.
I think it’s one part experience, one part of the kids knowing who I am now and respecting me as an adult at the school, and one little part of knowing I’m not the new kid anymore, and I need to step up to help those who are.
Yay for a second year at preschool that so far feels like it will go a whole lot smoother.