A few years ago, my son Hou had a pretty rotten preschool experience. He was enrolled in a private school that had an amazing reputation within our city. At the time, I had just had Leah, Hou was working on potty training, and I was back to work teaching kindergarten and not able to do drop-offs or pick-ups at school. Long story short... it was a tough year for all of us. We ended up pulling Hou from school in January after a particularly disturbing day.
Enter Miss Kristen.
The following school year, we were very nervous to send Hou back to school. In fact, my symptoms of the impending school year weren't far off from those suffering PTSD. Legit. I was scared to send my first-born into another unknown situation after I had so seriously misjudged the fit of the first. From the first time I met Miss Kristen, I was already impressed. She let Hou talk about his favorite topic (Angry Birds) and gently reminded him that he also needed to do his work. She listened to his "jokes" (mostly made up on his own) and started greeting him in the morning with jokes of her own. Hou slowly started opening up to us at home too... about school, about new friends, and about topics other than Angry Birds. What were probably normal preschool interactions for most was a huge milestone for our family - trust. Houston's trust in other adults and, in the school experience. And our trust in the process of letting go (a little bit).
Fast forward two years later. Houston is LOVING first grade and Leah is so excited to have Miss Kristen for her first school experience. I absolutely attribute my kids' love for school with Miss Kristen. She turned school around for Hou, and showed little Leah how preschool should be - from the start, this time. Every morning, Leah sits up in her bed and announces through the monitor "I'm ready to wake up for school today!"
We are so thankful for Miss Kristen in our life. And for all the wonderful "Miss Kristens" working so hard in our public schools. Thank you to all the beloved teachers out there who make school such an exciting place for the littlest learners.