Thursday, August 17, 2006

Second chance, first rate visit

Bud went to visit Mrs. Parker and his first grade classroom again this week. His first visit was difficult, so we weren't sure what to expect this time. But we know that, for Bud, familiarity breeds comfort, so we were determined to forge on.

Based on my experience with Bud's end-of-the-year "why is Mom at school?" dysregulation, I thought that perhaps my presence at last week's visit was part of the problem. So, this week, Nana went with Bud to visit Mrs. Parker.

As you may recall, following the first classroom visit Bud sent a letter to Mrs. Parker, which he composed entirely on his own. It read:

Der mis prker
I liek horn moeosik
Iliek read er rabbit
Luv bud

As luck would have it, when Nana and Bud arrived they found Mrs. Parker seated at the computer struggling with a problem. It seems she was trying to play a Reader Rabbit game, but she just didn't know how to do it.

Bud to the rescue.

Bud and Mrs. Parker sat side-by-side at the computer while Nana lurked in the background. Mrs. Parker handled the interaction with finesse - involved, but not too involved; allowing for the self-soothing of some perseverative mouse-clicking, gently redirecting to the exploration of a new element, then allowing for the brief return to the safety of perseveration. Success, success, success.

After a short time on the computer, Bud was ready to explore the classroom. He practiced hanging up his backpack. He practiced putting his pencil case in his cubby.

Then, it seemed, it was time to test Mrs. Parker about her tolerance for Budthings.

He introduced her to his stuffed purple Boohbah, his favorite Boohbah, the one he calls "My brudder Sumbah."

She was pleased to meet his brother Sumbah.

He acted out a Teletubbies script - silly actions, baby talk, and all.

She was just fine with the Teletubbies scripting - didn't pay it too much attention, didn't pay it too little.

He suggested that he might walk down to the Kindergarten classroom and visit his friend Mrs. H.

She said that Mrs. H wasn't there that day, but she knew that he would be able to see Mrs. H a lot while he was coming and going to first grade this year.

Success, success, success.

I was in my office watching the clock, worrying, and wondering how it was all going when my phone rang and I heard a voice I don't often hear on the other end of the phone.

"Hi, Mom. I had fun with Mrs. Parker."

And they're off.


Tara said...

What teacher, in their right mind, could resist Bud?? Removing yourself from the second visit and giving Bud some room to navigate on his own was a very good idea. I think Littleman would often benefit from having me do my hand wringing from the sidelines, out of view.
Best wishes to Bud for a grand first grade year!

Kristina Chew said...

Sounds like Bud's new school year is off to a great start even before it has started!

Steve said...

Can we clone Mrs. Parker a thousand times over?

for what it's worth said...

What a great day! It's wonderful that he was needed to help this morning. I hope that he is able to do more "helping". That was certainly something I have used very successfully. Attendance to the office twice a day...a great way to meet the office staff and new/different kids, all on their own terms.