This time of year is always an emotional one, not only because of the memories of coming off oxygen, coming home, the end of our 99 day hospital start in life and beginning the start of our life in the big world, but because it marks our actual ‘real’ birthday and all of our annual check ups, so we have lots of appointments around this time too.
Today marked another first – My first parents evening – well, parents morning as mummy and daddy’s appointment was at 8:45am! My key worker shared her assessment report and all of the observations and paintings and pictures in my file. Mummy and Daddy really enjoyed looking through – it was strange for them on the other side of the table, in fact on reflection, Mummy felt that it was less special because she was so used to being at the other side, and knew that even though the report read so positively about Me, it wouldn’t be unusual for a school report to be full of generic statements with a ‘best fit’ for each pupil. It is sadly the world of education now where pressures and paperwork are taking over. Daddy also made reference to lots of observations being made on the same paper and date – obviously an observation day – or a quick catch up before parents morning. Either of which are quite normal.
The truth is -with experience on the other side of the table, mummy and daddy know that none of this really matters. Whilst Mummy’s own observations and assessments married perfectly with the ones pre-school made, and the comments were a good description of me, all Mummy cared about was that I was safe and happy and enjoyed my time at nursery, that i was making friends and learning new things, She didn’t really care for how it was recorded and monitored because i’m not even really two yet and life shouldn’t be taken so seriously at this age.
If you know my Mummy like her colleagues do (And Zebra if you are reading this…..do NOT read on) this is certainly not her usual attitude – she likes rigorous procedures and box ticking and highlighting and tracks for trackings sake but actually, with everything life has thrown at us, she just thinks paperwork is a waste of precious time and it is important to just – live!
The key statements from my report that Mummy liked were;
‘Austin is a happy, smiley little boy, with a very strong exploratory impulse.’
There was an obvious pattern ‘he loves outdoor play’ ‘especially if it involves running outside’ ‘childs view: i like to play outside’
It made Mummy feel so proud that I am growing in confidence, have friends, enjoy exploring, follow simple instructions and boundaries and sit and participate in group times. It makes her feel like when she made that really tough decision to send me to nursery without Rory, it was the right decision, because it has made such a difference in such a short time.
Mummy sent an email to the staff team…
Just wanted to say thank you for everything that you and the team have done for Austin since he started in April.
As you know we understand the other side of the table and the pressure of assessments and reports and just education in general. We cracked a joke with ********* about copy and paste report comments and making lots of assessments the day before parents evening to fill up the folder – of course we were kidding.
It was great to see his assessments and observations and all of the nice things written about him but to be honest, none of that really matters to us in the grand scheme of things.
As long as Austin is safe and happy and enjoys himself at nursery, the rest doesn’t matter.
You have all done such a great job with him and I couldn’t be happier.
We really like ********* and feel as his Key worker that she understands Austin and his needs really well, her observations and assessments were spot on, I couldn’t have done it better myself.
I just wish you knew as a team the difference you have made to our family in such a short period of time. We cannot wait to get Rory settled in too.
From the bottom of my heart and the tips of my toes, tears in my eyes – THANK YOU!
Mummy always thinks it is important to say when somebody has done a good job because all too often jobs are thankless and people are quick to complain and not to praise! Mummy does lots of praise!
I know I am a grown up nursery boy because mummy and daddy tell me all of the time. They tell me every day how precious and clever I am and how proud they are of me (& rory of course) and today wasn’t any different.
Rory is coming to nursery for the day on Monday. I can’t wait to show him around and introduce him to my friends.