Changing change is hard

Both boys are now officially back in school. Mat is starting Senior Kindergarten and Maks is going into Grade 3.

Throughout the summer Mat just wanted to get back into the routine of school. Two weeks into summer vacation, he asked if he could go back to school because doing summer things was just not fun. He did not enjoy being at home and he wanted to go back to his friends, routine and his class. So when it came time for him to head back to school, I figured that he would be happy.

He wasn’t.

He found out last week his kindergarten class had changed and he would not only be in a new room but also with a new teacher*. He had never heard of his new teacher and was not pleased that his old teacher would not be returning to teach kindergarten.

Once he found out about his new room, it was the end of wanting to go back to school. He kept telling me he didn’t want to go back to school. He wanted to stay home now because he did not want to go to his new class. He cried this morning and refused to get dressed. He just did not want to go to school because it was not what he remembered. He wanted to go back to what he knew.

It didn’t help matters that the process for dropping off kindergarten kids changed today as well. Last year, the kindergarten teachers all lined up in rows in the kindergarten area of the school, and the parents could go line up with the kids behind the teacher until it was time for everyone to go in. This year, the teachers waited for the kids in their classrooms. The kids had to go into the classroom, have their names crossed off the class list and then wait for class to begin. I think this new way of doing things made it easier for the teachers. They didn’t have to wrangle as many kids or risk misplacing a child. But it made things a bit scarier for the kids because the returning ones had no idea what other kids were in their class until they had already walked in and found a seat.

I didn’t know about the new process until we got to the school but having to tell Mat there was another new procedure freaked him out even more. He was so nervous to start with, not knowing what kids were beyond the door, frightened him and he didn’t really speak all morning. But the nerves did not stop him, and he was a big boy about the situation. He found himself a cubby, got his stuff all organized and then (tentatively) walked into the room. He didn’t recognize any of the kids when he went in but he did recognize one of the teachers. She was a substitute from last year and she walked right over to him and started talking to him. He only nodded at her and didn’t say anything but I think having her there helped to get him out of his shell for a bit.

When I left him he was looking for a place to sit with the teacher and I am hoping he starts talking by this afternoon.

*Last year Mat was in a shared JK/SK class and usually in those situations, the kids have the same teacher for their entire kindergarten career. Having the teacher and room change from JK to SK is something new.

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