It was the last day of school holidays today. So tomorrow S is off into grade five.
I know it is a cliche, but it really does seem like yesterday that I was putting on his school uniform and taking him to his first day of school.
He had a tough first six months at school. I don’t think he got what it was all about. He had a very rigid teacher who had great theories about how a child should be in their first year of education.
Not long after he started, his teacher said to me that it was wrong that I had taught him to read as he would now have trouble learning about concept. One had to learn about themes and concepts before starting to read. I said that I actually did not set out to teach him, it just happened through my reading books to him and his asking of questions. She rolled her eyes at me as though I was a naughty child.
One day I went to pick him up from school and his teacher came up to me and wanted to talk to me about something very important.
“Oh, Mrs C, I am really concerned about your son. He exhibits all the behaviour of a child with serious learning difficulties,” she said to me.
“What exactly do you mean?” I asked, feeling that rush of anxiety that comes with being told something may be wrong with your child.
“Well, he does not concentrate, he does not seem to listen and he does not respond to what is being said in the classroom by the teacher. In fact, the temporary teacher was very concerned,” Ms Rose continued in a very serious voice.
I said to her that I would take the information home and talk to my husband about what we should do.
As I walked to the car I felt sick with worry. I mulled over the words she had told me. So, he does not concentrate, does not seem to listen and does not respond to what the teacher was saying. Hmmmm, that sounded pretty normal to me. Both K and I decided to just take things day by day and see how things went.
Not long after that, the very same teacher said to my husband that we should take our son to see a child psychologist as he was having a few problems. We sat down and chatted to him about his day and the problem was that he did not like his teacher and he did not like one child in class whom we knew to have ADHD. So we said not to worry and that in life he would come across people who he did not like and lots more people that he would like. Just take things day by day.
He tumbled along for that first year and moved on into the second year well enough.
One day I happened to bump into his first teacher, the one who had alarmed me more than once. It was the end of the year and she said it was so exciting that we were going on a holiday. She walked off leaving me wondering what on earth she was going on about. We were not going on any holiday.
When I saw S I asked him if he had said something to Ms Rose about a holiday. I had a sneaking suspicion he may have.
“Yes, I told her we were going on holiday to Alice Springs and would be dancing in the nude in the hot sun,” he replied.
“Why would you tell her that sort of story,” I asked.
“She looked like she needed to laugh,” was his reply.
Well, he must have learnt something along the way.
Not sure if that was what I had in mind when I sent him to school though.