Ian’s First Day of Kindergarten

11 August 2009 marked the beginning of Ian’s formal schooling. Having graduated from preschool last may (see the entry for 10 May 2009), Ian continued to hang on at the Child Development Research Center Children’s Program throughout the summer. As July came to an end, however, so did his time with them and with his much loved teachers, Ms. Alison and Ms. Gale. They did a great job preparing him for “big kids” school.

And so, on that fateful Tuesday, he put on his new backpack (with matching lunch box inside) and he, his mommy and his daddy headed off to Matthews Elementary School. He was so ready to go!

There was a bit of a traffic jam that morning as all the new kids figured out how to get there. Fortunately we made it inside before the “tardy bell” rang. (Yes, we have now entered a world of tardy bells. Sweet Jesus! At the Children’s Program we could saunter in any old time. No longer!)

Ms. Owens, Ian’s teacher, had all the kindergarten kids line up in the hallway as we waited for everyone to arrive. Ian was very patient and sat waiting and talking to a new friend next to him. When Ms. Owens called them in, he was one of the first to hop up and, without so much as a look back at his misty-eyed mom and dad, he was into his new classroom and sitting at his desk.

We’d gone to an open house the day before so he knew just where to sit.

Later, Marysia picked him up and his teacher’s report (filed in his backpack everyday) showed a smiley face for a job well done! 🙂 One can also receive frown faces 🙁 or non-plussed faces 😐 so we were quite proud of our young scholar.

Unfortunately, he came down with a fever and headache Wednesday night so we had to keep him home on Thursday. He quickly recovered, however, and was back at school Friday. Of course, Marysia had to write (our first ever!) absence-excuse note! I guess we truly are parents of a school kid now. Oh, and Ian had homework — homework in kindergarten — to do over the weekend.

There ain’t no going back.

It feels very odd to make this transition from a school environment based on learning through play to kindergarten, where learning can still be fun, but it also can just be work.

I’m sure that there’s going to be a lot of learning for both Ian and his parents in the years to come.

Ian’s New School in the News

Ian’s school and his teacher have been featured in two recent Tuscaloosa News stories. The first, an article about the Tuscaloosa County School System’s financial squeeze, features a photograph of Ian’s kindergarten teacher, Ms. Rebekah Owens, in their classroom at Matthews Elementary School!


And the second article describes how University of Alabama students spruced up Matthews’ halls with new murals:

Ian has had an excellent first week, with Ms. Owens rewarding him with a smiley face for his work. (Each week the students either get a smiley face, a frown face, or a face with a straight line — to indicate their progress that week.) More on the first day, with photos, to follow.