Monday, May 23, 2011

Uncertainty and stress

Another school year is almost at an end.  Here, we don't finish until the very end of June, so we have about five and a half weeks left.  And while many parents dread the end of a school year due to summer childcare issues when you have kids young enough to need that, others, like myself, dread the end of the school year for an entirely different reason.

The end of the school year is hard because, if you've had a good teacher that year, you've gotten into a routine where you trust the teacher and the teacher trusts that you're going to let them know if your child is having a bad day before they even get to school so that they can do what they can to head them off at the pass to keep from making an already bad day disastrous.  The child trusts the teacher and might have actually had an enjoyable year - not something that a special needs kid always has.

And so now we're at the end of the year.  This year has been an interesting one.  The teacher that Hassaan originally had ended up having to go off on leave in March. He had a succession of other teachers which is always hard on the kids, but to the kids that don't function when there is no set routine it creates an entirely different set of problems.  When you don't know who's going to be your teacher that day, just getting the child on the bus can be problematic.  Finally, Hassaan's teacher was replaced with a long term supply teacher through the end of the year.  We were incredibly fortunate that the teacher is, in many respects, much like his original teacher.  Firm, routine and structure oriented, and very patient.  So all in all, the year has gone fairly well.  But it's not the end of the current year that is the problem. The problem is when you look at next year.

It is always frustrating and stressful that you can't and won't know who your child has until the first day of school.  I know that it's pretty much down between two teachers for next year. One I know very little about, though I do know a couple of people had issues - though they were more with comparisons with the other teacher than anything else. The other teacher Hammad has this year.  She was also my teacher way back when.  I really like her. However, while she is structured, I don't believe that she has the patience needed to work with Hassaan.  Maybe she does and I just haven't seen it with Hammad.  But Hammad did need what his teacher gave him - a really firm push with consequences for his actions.  Or rather, consequences for his lack of actions.

So now I, like many other parents, will spend the summer fretting and stressing about the next school year, about the entire month of September - if not longer - that it takes to transition back into school, and even then, if the child and teacher and compatible, an eternally long year.

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