Saturday, November 12, 2011

Facing the next step...

This week we went to an open day/orientation day at the preprimary school where Matt is going to next year. I did not expect that my emotions would wrap around me so intensely, like a big, wooly winter jacket - slightly suffocating. I am still trying to process all the feelings - yes there was excitement, but there was mostly fear, uncertainty and trepidation. I love the play group where Matt is now, I know his teacher understands him, and genuinely desires to see him become all he can me. Though I know it is totally unrealistic, a part of me wishes that we could just stay there forever.

But with growth, comes change. And change is scary. There are many unknowns - how will Matt really cope in a classroom of 20 plus kids? Will Matt be lost, will he feel lost? Will he be encouraged to reach his full potential or will they expect less from him because he has a "special needs" label? Will the other kids accept him or not?
I guess it is really the great unknown...questions that can't be answered until we get there, that cause the most fear.

Let me focus on what I do know:
1. The principal as an open heart towards childern with special needs: I chose this school for Matt because the principal was so embracing of the idea of inclusion, and her questions about Matt showed such insight.
2. I met Matt's teacher-to-be, and she really does seem like someone that I can work with in helping Matt reach his potential.
3. The principal has assigned one of the teacher assistants to keep a special watch over Matt. I met her and she seems full of life and very excited to be working with Matt.
4. I do have friends, that I trust, who have had kids at the school and recommend it.
5. I know that Matt does enjoy learning and growing, though it is at his pace.

I need to keep these facts in the forefront of my mind. And when I look at them, I see so much in Matt's favour.

Yes I do still have doubts, I wonder if we are expecting too much for Matt by placing him in a main stream school. I wonder if I should have chosen a school that has smaller classes. I wonder...

But then again, sometimes, when I am busy wondering all these thoughts, I wonder if Matt just might do what he has consistently done up until now - surprise me by totally exceeding my expectations!


Jo said...

Wow, change is always hard, but its what makes us grow!
I'm sure Matt is going to do so well at pre-school! I also wanted to keep Jamie at Debbie for ever, but he has really flourished this year and we have been so happy at BH. It is such a happy school! I wish we were going to be there next year to support you, but there are some lovely mums there!

Jacqui said...

@Jo - I do feel like we have been following a bit in Jamie's footsteps. And this has proved to work out well for Matt. I'm just going to have to close my eyes and jump - and trust that we will all land safely at BH!
Thanks for the encouragement

Cindy said...

Your #1 and #2 reasons are all it will take for Matt to succeed... the kids won't be a problem if the principal and teacher are on board. I can't wait to hear the leaps and bounds he makes. Change is hard, and our kids sometimes take a moment to adjust, but if the support is there, they end up doing great!

Debbie said...

I think that your last sentence is going to be true of Matt, I know you know this but he is a remarkable little boy. It is scary to start a new chapter, I was anxious about my children at their new schools, even each new class/teacher, it is how we moms are! But whatever happens and even though I think he is going be just fine, remember, nothing is set in stone, if it's not a good fit there will be somewhere else that is. I know that you and Lloyd have gone through this process prayerfully so we need to trust that God has set you on the right path. I am sure you will feel more encouraged after chatting to Glenda too.

Tarah Peacock said...

I agree, change is scary. But I think Matt will do great! Can't wait to see his progress and all of the new things that he will learn.