Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Kindergarten Orientation

Tonight was the Kindergarten Orientation at the school the girls will be attending in the fall. It was just dumb luck that I even found out about it because I would never have thought they would do an orientation 3 1/2 months before school starts. I just happened to find out because I called to see if they required a lead test since the Doctor that gave the girls their shots said that some schools required it so I should ask. When I was asking about this (which they don't require and seemed to think I was crazy for even asking) the lady mentioned the orientation. Of course, hubby is out to sea so I asked if this was strictly a parent thing or if the kids would be allowed and she said that was for parents, but if I couldn't find a sitter the kids were welcome to attend. So I was a little nervous about being the only parent there with kids, but it turns out that no one got the memo about no kids because probably half the people there had their kids with them, along with both parents and several siblings.

To start with the first several speakers (the principal, school nurse, and office manager?) were so soft spoken I could barely hear them. Hellooooo, you work at an elementary school, I would think you would know how to address a crowd. The principal gave her little spiel about working together for the kids, then the office manager pretty much went over everything on the handouts we were given upon arrival. Then the nurse gave us all a refresher course on shot requirements which I feel like you would have to be a dummy not to know about and if you were said dummy you probably were not going to be at this orientation 3 1/2 months prior to school starting, but whatever.

Next up was one of the kindergarten teachers. She knew how speak up! Her whole presentation focused on scaring everyone because "Kindergarten is not what it used to be" she just came out and said that kindergarten is now like first grade was when we were in school. She kept pushing and pushing how it was sooo academic oriented now. She then went through a lot of stuff they would use and do in the classroom, which was kind of interesting.

After they finished up I went up to ask about their policy on twins. They said that they took the parents wishes into consideration and tried to honor them if they could, but that they would prefer them separated and they even separated any cousins and such that attended. For anyone that doesn't have multiples you need to know that this is a hotbed issue. I, myself, am of the opinion that twins should not get special treatment regarding classroom placement, but they shouldn't be discriminated against either. Basically I feel they should put their names in the computer with everyone else's and randomly place them, if they get together fine, if not fine. A lot of multiple moms think their multiples should be placed in the same classroom because they have such a bond and it is cruel to "tear them apart". Most teachers that I've heard of feel that multiples should be separated so that they can find their own "voice" and not always be seen as part of a set and always measured against their twin or in some cases be confused with their twin. Plus a lot of teachers have seen twins be disruptive to the classroom because they feel too comfortable with their twin present and don't take learning seriously when they have their built in playmate from birth there to engage. I have already been prepping the girls and telling them that they might be in separate classrooms when they start school and they seem fine with it, but we will see how it works out when the time comes.

They also told us that there would be an open house about a week before school starts so we could meet our kids teachers and the kids could meet them and see the classes. So as far as I can tell, besides scaring us about how behind our kids probably already are because kindergarten is so academic, and pushing early registration to avoid the crowds at the local doctors office, the point of this little meet and greet was to tell us what our kids "should" know so that we will work our asses off this summer to whip the 5 year olds into shape. Fun.

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