Maks is going through something right now that would be hard for a lot of people but he is handling it like a champ. It is something his teacher even called me about because she has seen how other kids react in his situation and she wanted to make sure he was OK.
Here is the back story.
Maks and his friend R have been best buddies since grade one. They clicked right away and were inseparable for the past three years. R made sure to show up to everything Maks was involved in and Maks does the same. Going into this grade they were both fairly certain they were going to be split up. They had been expecting it to happen every year prior but this was the year the classes split because there were just not enough teachers for the kids.* If the teachers know you are really good friends with another kid they spilt you up so you are less distracted. Maks was sure this would happen. So he fretted all summer long, like big time, fret. (He gets that from me)
On the first day of school, Maks was ready super early and wanted to head out the door right away because he needed to meet up with R and find out who is teacher would be as soon as possible.** He waited by the gate and as soon as he saw R, he ran over to find out who is teacher would be. He was so excited to see him, he ended up hanging with R and his family for about 10 minutes before he remembered we were there and came back to hang out with us. R told him they were in the same class and all was right in the world again. They could sit together again, they could be partners for their science projects again and they were both happy. And pretty much that is what happened.
Fast forward to this week.
Tuesday was the reorganization day for the school. The teachers and admin staff go over all the numbers and they figure out if the classes are too big and if any kids need to be moved. It is based on class size and teacher availability. The kids get told on the morning of the reorganization that they will be moving classes and they just gather up their things and leave for their new rooms. It’s done really quickly to avoid long goodbyes and kids having a fit about changing classes.
R was one of the kids who ended up getting moved.
I think after all the anxiety of the summer, R getting moved during the reorg, totally blindsided Maks. He had his mind made up they were going to end up being in the same class this year, no matter what. And then the reorg happened and he fell apart. And to make things even harder; since Maks is in a split class, his recess and lunch breaks are not with his grade. They are with the grade above his and since R is going into a non-split class that means the boys won’t even see each other over their breaks. This is a complete separation for the rest of the year.
His teacher saw how upset Maks was and she gave him the option of going with R to his new room but Maks decided against it. R’s new teacher is the same teacher they had in grade one and grade three. The teacher who has consistently told Maks that French immersion is not for him. And the teacher he consistently shows that he is more than capable of handling the curriculum. He likes his teacher this year and he thinks he will learn more from her than he will from the teacher he has already had, so he said goodbye to his friend and stayed. The decision to stay was probably the hardest part of the day for him and he felt guilty about it. He felt like he was abandoning his friend by choosing to stay and getting over that feeling is a work in progress.
His new teacher knew how close the two of them were and she reached out to me to make sure Maks was OK after the reorg went down. She knew how hard some kids take change and she wanted to make sure Maks was handling it OK.
And he has. He’s not happy about the situation but he is trying his best to make it work.
*French immersion is a small component of their school curriculum and the higher the grade, the less teachers there are to teach the French immersion kids. So they start sharing teachers with the grade above.
**this year the school called the day before school started and let you know who your child’s teacher would be.