Thursday, August 12, 2010

Who's Schooling Who?

We have a big black lab named Maggie and although she's a pretty good dog, "heeling" is not her strong suit. In fact, it's not one of her suits at all. She simply doesn't do it. Whether her leash is extended the full 16 feet or if it's reeled in nice and tight, she is barreling forward with not an ounce of concern for our shoulder joints. Typically on our walks we get that look from people, the one that suggests, "who is walking who?".

Well, right now we are in a school frenzy. C is gearing up for his 7th year of teaching and we are also researching, touring, and talking up preschool for J. It seems like every misbehavior comes with a school-related warning or reprimand:

"You need to wash your hands so that when you are at school you won't spread your germs."
"Let's practice listening because when you are at school you'll have to listen to your teacher."
"Teachers don't let their students come to school without shoes."

And some recent events here have caused me to wonder, "Who's schooling who?" Here are a few examples that have stopped me up short:

  • With a dad who's a teacher, J has picked up on the phrase "my students". "Mama, at school, what do you think my students will want to play?" "Don't worry, I will share things with my students." Oh, what are his poor classmates in for?
  • Prepping J for a preschool tour this morning I said, "We are going to look around at the preschool and see what kind of things they have there. You'll have to also be quiet and patient for a little bit while Mommy and Daddy talk to the teacher." He dryly replied, "You will need to be quiet and patient too because I might have to talk to the teacher."
  • During the visit, C and I nodded as the director discussed the behavior, mindsets, and learning styles of 3 year-olds as it all sounded very familiar and we were reassured in our thinking that J is right on target and a very bright boy. We were no sooner back home and in the door, though, and he was acting up, giving me sarcastic answers, and while in a self-imposed time-out, peed and pooped his pants.
  • Lastly, like the naive parents we are, we spontaneously decided to reward J's patience during the visit with a trip to Tim Horton's for some tim bits. Of course after he finished his two, he asked for more. C told him that was all we had and that two was a lot. J's face darkened and he said, "No, it's not. Two is two. Next time I want five."
As one of my coworkers would say, "What a trip!"

Speaking of trips, on our recent trip to Cincinnati, J appointed himself our navigator and frequently tried to grab maps out of our hands because he "knew the way". He'd also ask us questions about the animals and fish we saw at the zoo or the aquarium. We'd answer as best we could and he would promptly disagree with us and then impart his own knowledge on us.

No matter my opinions on Reggio Emilia philosophy, the Montessori Way, development-based or academic-based preschools, I think C and I are in for some schooling the J Way.


Stacy said...

JT is starting preschool this fall, too. (He's also 3.) We are dealing with the same kinds of things!

Can I lean on you?! I'm fretting the transition a lot, even though we're trying to get him used to the idea like you are.

katie said...

Great idea, Stacy! Let's lean on each other!

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