My dad was a teacher. My mother-in-law is a teacher. A LOT of my friends are teachers. I’ve had an unfettered glimpse into the world of the teacher; their lives and the work they do. I wrote this fun little piece for one of my teacher friends to hopefully brighten her day. (Or give her nightmares…hopefully not.)
Dear Amazing parents!
Welcome to kindergarten. It’s going to be an amazing year, but it will also be challenging. The one thing you all need to know is that we are going to get through this together.
Now, the first week of school will be a little different for all of us. There is an influx of new teachers this year who had to get fingerprinted last minute and that seems to have caused a backlog of fingerprinting. It’s going to take a little longer than usual to get everyone in place. That means Ms. Elizabeth, the kindergarten teacher, who is so excited to get started with your students, will be joining the class a little later than planned. In the meantime, your children will be in the capable, loving hands of Ms. Regina.
Ms. Regina has been teaching 5th and 6th grade for the past 22 years, but she started with Kindergarten and is well versed in teaching younger children, Zoom, and Google Classroom. She also minored in Communications and Behavioral Sciences. Talk about being ready for teaching your precious children while we wait for the fingerprints to clear!
Below will be a link to the Zoom meeting for Monday morning along with a welcome video Ms. Regina made for the Kindergarten class. Please sign in to the Zoom meeting 15 minutes before the class start time so we can help with any issues that might arise technologically! We appreciate your time and support as we come together and get ready for a great year!
Mrs. Staff, your loving Principal
The Zoom Meeting:
Good morning! Oh I see so many bright faces. Johnny has joined us! Johnny, do you know last year I taught your older brother? You remember me, don’t you?
Okay. When the time comes I’ll ask you all to mute yourselves, but for now, it’s fun to just let the kiddos talk and be seen and point out what they see.
Goodness, that is an interesting display name. Perhaps the person with the name ending in the number 69 could change the name to your child’s name? Thank you.
Ah, we have Anne and Sophie, the twins. Hello! We are so happy to see you.
Here comes Kris, oh no, who is not in a good mood this morning. I know, it is early, isn’t Kris? We’ve all had a long summer with different schedules.
Here’s Joseph. Oh, we can’t see Joseph yet. We’ll give Joseph some time to figure out all this new technology learning.
And Caleb and his dad are on with us. I wonder if Caleb’s dad knows his bathrobe is not closed all the way.
Now he knows. What a great reminder that we all have bodies and they are all different and wonderful.
Okay, I think we’re almost all here. Is everyone excited? I sure am!
Joseph is still working on his camera. There is an option right when you log on, or maybe now it’s in the top left hand corner, you need to give permission to use your microphone and video.
While we’re talking about buttons, I know Kindergartners, a lot of your parents may have been using Zoom over the past few months, but just so we’re all on the same page, I’d like to point out the microphone on your picture. We need everyone muted. I can mute you all from here, but sometimes there are problems and if you could all just mute yourselves, that would be great.
Okay, Joseph’s mom, I got your email. I’m going to have someone email you back with how to fix this problem.
Oh look at that, we all figured out how to use the chat! Way to go Kindergarten parents. So, to answer the most asked question, if you hover your mouse over the microphone icon in the left hand corner of your picture and click on it one time, that will mute you or unmute you.
Just a reminder, anything you say in chat can be seen by everyone. I assure you I did take a shower this morning at 5 am when I woke up today. It’s not roll out of bed hair.
You know, I think I’m going to turn the chat on so that only I can see it. You can send me a private message if you have questions.
Wow, there are a lot of questions! I will send myself an email of all these and try to get them all answered, but let me just scroll through this novel we’ve just written together. Parents, you are amazing, give yourselves a pat on the back. We all have a lot of concerns about how this is going to work. Our goal today is just for me to introduce myself and let the kiddos see each other. This week we will work on teaching our kindergartners how to mute and unmute themselves on Zoom and get them used to this process.
Okay, Joseph’s mom, I got your email. My teacher assistant, also known as my husband, did email you, but if a phone call will help, I’ve got your number and he’s calling you now.
Oh my, I’m going to ask Dina’s mom if she could make sure she’s muted. We are so sorry for what you are going through this morning, and such a wonderful way to use the English language. I think even I learned some new phrasings today. But maybe these aren’t such kindergarten friendly words.
The first thing we’re going to do every day Kindergartners is sing our welcome song. Let’s learn that now!
Oh, Johnny…is Johnny’s mom or dad there? Should he be opening the door for the…grocery delivery? Oh, Johnny’s nodding his head yes. And handing over the money and taking the groceries. Well, aren’t you helpful Johnny.
It’s shape time! Let’s look at some shapes and colors and review some of the things you probably already all know!
Well, look at that, Tyler’s mom has started a Parent text chain already. So proactive of you Tyler’s mom. I will have to process this later to figure out how you got my phone number in order to get me dialed into this wonderful group.
If you could put your children back on screen, parents, that would be so wonderful. I feel like this has become more of a parent’s class rather than a Kindergarten class.
Joseph’s mom, I got your email and text and chat question, my husband is attempting to call you once again at the number you gave me. If you could please answer your phone.
I suppose we could just go alphabetically one by and one and I’ll hear each parents concerns and questions.
It seems Zoom has been overloaded on this first day of school and we’ve lost connectivity.
Thank you so much for your attention today and again I do apologize for the loss of internet connection. Our school was told by the cable company it was due to an overload of usage in our area. Not, as someone has suggested to my principal, a result of my “incapability to teach” that was “highlighted when I ended the Zoom meeting prematurely.” Let me also assure you again, it was internet related, not because you as a group of 20-21 Kindergarten Parents took on a surprisingly quick mob like mentality and allowed your helicopter parenting to show so quickly.
We are going to take a week here at the school for all of us to fine tune our process and attitudes and by then, Ms. Elizabeth will be ready to handle you and your precious angels.
Some of you have demanded from the principal that we supply you and your child with a list of activities you can do at home so your precious kindergartner doesn’t “fall behind”. Though, let’s be clear, missing one week of school for a 5/6 year old, will NOT stunt their mental growth, regardless of the facts Mattie’s mom stated in the group chat. I applied my 22 years of teaching children to read for context when I read the articles Mattie’s mom supplied, and if you, like me, read ALL THE WAY through the article and the sources cited, it would seem the “Doctor” who wrote the article is actually named Doctor and the study she cited was just an “observance” of her own three children over a 6-month period.
In the curriculum I have developed for the next week, I have also included a packet of psychological articles, books, and materials for you parents. Now, I know it seems like I am handing out enough material for a college class, and I am. Trust me, it’s for your own good.
Thank you to Chloe’s mom who will “continue to pray for my soul”, I just felt like I needed to explain that my choice to wear red on the first day of kindergarten had more to do with how small children react to bright colors than it was a reflection of my “charlatan lifestyle”.
Also, I might not be able to answer the long long long list of questions and demands sent in the text chain. I no longer have a telephone. The principal and I and the school district are looking into the legalities of the way Tyler’s mom asked her “best friends husbands” to use his detective resources to find and distribute my phone number. I have decided to not get a new phone until this matter has been resolved. Also, all my emails now will be routed through the principal and a group of interns we hired to answer your questions. And just for the sake of transparency, answers to your emails will be sent out to everyone, just in case someone else had the same question you had.
For those of you who think the 32 pages of activities I’ve sent for your child to accomplish in the next four days seems a bit obscene, I would offer you an alternative lesson plan. If you have the ability to let your child watch PBS, any of the kid shows on PBS, just sit your child in front of that TV and let your worries go. Think of PBS as a babysitter, your child will enjoy (him/herself) AND there is the possibility they will learn a little something.
I am indeed going to end my evening now with a very tall, very over poured drink and I am thankful that as I close my tear stained eyes this evening that Chloe’s mom will be praying for me.