Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hurray for Jupiter!!!

Jupiter stayed in her classroom by herself for almost the whole day today!!!!!!

On Monday, Mimi was outside the classroom with Jupiter in the room when one of the staff members approached her and begged her to substitute teach in one of the first grade teacher's rooms, because they had NOBODY to go into that room. One of the school secretaries, on her way through the parking lot, was blinded by the sun (the sunrise and the commute time are fairly entertwined for the next couple of weeks) and she hit one of the first grade teachers who was crossing the parking lot on her way into the building. She was not seriously hurt, but had to go to the hospital. That particular teacher's daughter also teaches in the building, so they were out two teachers and one school secretary. Jupiter was able to seperate to begin with and then she spent part of her day in 1st grade. She won the math game that the first graders played and had her own desk (the stop and think desk) so she thought it was the best thing. So I was concerned that we had to make kindergarten more appealing than 1st grade. But in the afternoon, when she chose not to return to her classroom, she missed playground time and got fairly bored.

When I went to pick Jupiter up, she had a meltdown. At least, by that point, I knew what had happened and what had triggered it..knowing that she would have to stay in her classroom by herself the next day. In case I had any doubt, she screamed it at me at the top of her lungs while we were sitting at a red light. She had to cope with a complete change in routine with no warning and no prep. And she got through it, even if the end of the day was tough. We got home, went for a walk, settled down, and then we made a book.

I had her tell me all the things her class would do the next day. Specifically. Dot to dot. Morning meeting. Reading. Phys Ed. Lunch. Recess. Centers. Snack. Recess. I had her tell me which parts made her scared. (phys ed. Lunch.) I told her that she could go to first grade for phys ed and for lunch. (the lunchroom is too loud.) We wrote down the times she could see Mimi. We wrote down on the pages after the schedule the things she could do if she got scared. Then we did a few pages with the safe adults at school she knows and trusts. Then we made a page with her friends.

All this took upwards of 90 minutes. I expected her to be awake at some point during the night, but though she woke up twice, they were very brief and she went right back to sleep. The cat jumped on her bed in the morning so she started off the day with a smile in her heart. She brought her book with her to school and she read it together with her teacher. Her teacher gave her stickers so after each page was done she could put a sticker on.

At 1:30 I had a voice mail message on my phone. I missed the call because I forgot to bring the phone with me while I was working in the storage closet. The message was that Jupiter was doing great, and was staying by herself. When I got home, I found out that she even went to phys ed. She had a few tears at the beginning, but she found her friend Amelia (one of the coaching strategies in her book) and settled down and decided that phys ed was actually quite fun. She did go to see Mimi for lunch instead of the lunchroom, but then actually ASKED if she could go back to kindergarten. She stayed for the rest of the day and waited for Mimi to pick her up.

I am amazed and so very proud at this moment. Hurray for Jupiter!!!!!!!!!!

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Woo hoo!!!!! Great news!