Y’all, I had the best meeting yesterday with Stella’s new teacher. As you probably recall, we had a horrendous kindergarten year with a horrible demon of a teacher I referred to as the Harpy. After loads of meetings during the year, and almost ugly-crying in front of the principal and guidance counselor during the last one, we were granted the Rock Star of 1st grade teachers. I think the school figured we deserved a break; we had suffered enough.
This is the teacher everyone wants. She’s won Teacher of the Year. She’s known for being a fair, effective teacher – one who still has an abundance of passion and zest for her profession, despite being a 16 year veteran. She’s the teacher you consider using voodoo magic – sacrificing a chicken in the back yard – to get (whereas with the Harpy you’d simply get a voodoo doll and a hell of a lot of pins).
She called me out of the blue to ask if I could come up for a quick meeting. She wanted us to get a chance to talk one on one prior to school starting. The meeting was magical. I know that sounds crazy, but I could not have asked for anything more. She said she knew Stella, she knew Stella could win those Student of the Week/Month awards, that Stella didn’t need to be behavior charted to death, that she wanted Stella to feel like the other kids, that she hated labeling kids – giving them something that they would have to carry with them forever, that labeling kids hurt her heart.
Before I left, she handed me a couple of hand wipes and instructed me to “wipe all the bad memories of last year off” and toss them. We hugged and high-fived. Later that afternoon, she texted me to say “thank you,” and even expressed more good thoughts about how we were going to have a great year. Then she sent a photo of her watching Stella’s science video on YouTube.
I almost cried, I was so grateful. I’m tearing up now just typing this out. The Harpy really did a number on us. I knew I was relieved at the end of the year, making jokes about surviving kindergarten, but I’m not sure I realized how anxious and hurt I had been for my kid. This is the teacher my kid – that all kids – deserve. I’m still anxious about my daughter going into first grade, but it’s more of a happy anticipation. I know we still have a long way to go, but I feel infinitely better about the guide we have to get us through this next year.
Fingers and toes crossed.