There's something about parenting that can make you feel so great and proud, but also feel like a total failure.
A week or so ago, I got a note home from school that Gavin was chosen to be in a special reading support group. The school had hired a teacher that specialized in reading to work with kids that needed extra help.
Now the logical me says that Gavin was a preemie that would not be in school this year had he been born on his due date (or even at 30 weeks instead of 27 weeks). Logical me says that preemies that did not have a third trimester can't possibly come out unscathed, and this shouldn't be a shock. Logical me says he only had 5 months of preschool.
But emotional me is FREAKING OUT and yelling FAILURE as a parent.
And now I must say bless his teacher who is understanding, compassionate, and tolerant of my many questions to her. So I sent her an email asking a little more about this group, how delayed she thought he was, etc, etc. I should also mention that I had told her how premature he was at the start of the year and she told me she was glad to know about it, and would keep a close eye out for any delays.
Here is an excerpt from her email back to me:
"We have added a reading support teacher in the building and are having her pull a small group of student from each class to work on literacy things such as beginning reading, letter sounds (beginning middle and ends of words), syllables and phonemes, etc. I don’t see there is a huge gap with any development issues with Gavin – just knowing he was a preemie and that we do struggle with grasping new concepts right away, I just figured it would give him an extra boost and help build confidence. :)
His wonderful day Monday consisted of working well in a group, using manners even when he thought no one was listening, no rolling on the carpet and willingness to share with others (aka the swing at recess :).
You have a great little guy Bridie! I love having him in class!"
But that was last week. So on to the great day we had Friday. When I picked him up he gave me a tour of his classroom - he was so excited to show me everything. Then we got in the car and he gave me a shining star certificate he got for "giving up the swing to another kid even though he really wanted to stay on". He also got a pencil, and he was so proud.
But the good day didn't end there. We worked on his sight words that night - 8 flash cards with words they are working on at school. After we played a couple games with them, we flipped through them one more time and he got them ALL right for the first time! I about fell off his bed (we were on the top bunk) and he had a smile from ear to ear. Of course I was happy he got them right, but to see how proud he was of himself...SO priceless!
And then today he informed me that "literacy stations and math tubs" were his favorite part of school. I was so worried that he would be self-conscious that he was needing a little extra help, but it seems like they are doing a great job of making learning fun at his school, and not making kids feel different. I can't say enough good things about his school. And really, all teachers deserve a raise, but especially Kindergarten teachers. Especially ours.