Tad, Meet the New Teacher

We’re beginning to work on the transition for Tad’s next school year (from Woodmoor to Westhill, for those of you in the know).  Mrs. McN, his current teacher, arranged a meeting right after school last Wednesday between me, Tad, herself, and Ms. W, the new teacher, in Tad’s soon-to-be new classroom at his soon-to-be new school.

Now, this is the same teacher and classroom that Mrs. McN and I observed last March, when we were trying to come to a decision on what class Tad should be in next year.  Mrs. McN has been very invested in making sure that Tad has a good placement, and I was very grateful to her for arranging this meeting.

So, right after Tad got off the bus, I popped him into the car (Grandma was watching Ane and Rerun) and drove to his new school.  As we drove in, I pointed out the school next to the new school – which is his old preschool.  The two buildings are right next to each other.  So Tad does have a passing familiarity with the new school.  We were greeted at the main office by the principal, who was looking out for us, and pointed us in the direction of the classroom.  I did know where it was, but it was a kind and friendly gesture by the principal to be the greeter.

Tad was a little stunned to see Mrs. McN there, and not in his classroom at his current school.  I sat down with the two teachers to chat while Tad wandered around the classroom a little, looking at things, and then came to me to climb into my lap.  While he was sitting there, Mrs. McN and I showed Ms. W the heavy pressure and sensory techniques that calm Tad down, and talked about his behavior in the classroom.  Ms. W showed him where the Legos were, and Tad went to check them, and the classroom library, out.  He found the only shark book in the room, which pleased him, but then he amused himself with other books as well, one of which was a “Where’s Waldo?” book.

Jokingly, I said to Ms. W, with Mrs. McN nodding in agreement, “If they had a “Where’s the Shark?” kind of book, like the “Where’s Waldo?” ones, Tad would be the master.  He can find a picture of a shark in a book within a minute or two of looking at it.”

Thirty seconds later, as we were talking some more about class work and schedules, Tad called out, “Hey Mama!  I found the shark!”  He came over to show me a beach picture in the “Where’s Waldo?” book, where, yes, there was a shark.

We all started laughing, which amused Tad.

I think the class will be a good fit.  Ms. W is very young – next year will be her first full year teaching.  She was brought in as a long-term substitute for the previous teacher, who had to leave at the end of last October (for reasons I don’t know, but probably medical ones).  However, she’s been formally hired on as the new teacher, and is very passionate about the class and excited to be getting to do things her way from the first day of school.  The classroom is well-run and I think that, given several weeks, Tad will make the adjustment.  It just might be a rough several weeks.

Mrs. McN said how she will miss seeing him, because he’s such a character and a lot of fun.  Everyone seems to feel that way about Tad, in the end.

I exchanged email addresses with Ms. W, and we’ve made some plans to come and visit her and the classroom while she sets up in August, to prepare Tad some more.

He was very nonchalant about the whole thing, and kind of indifferent.  After all, the next day he went to “his” class and saw Mrs. McN there.  So, I don’t think he really comprehends what change is coming.  My job is to get him adjusted and prepared for that change.  It’s a big job, but it has to be done.

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