Today was "Meet the Teacher Day" at Ben's school - the day before the first day. I always enjoy observing Ben in new situations. I might venture to say he is a "slow to warm up" kind of guy. He grasped my hand tightly as we walked into his new classroom. I could tell he was a little tense. I could really tell, when he was given a list of instructions created by the teachers. It was sort of a checklist, with things to do, such as "put away your school supplies in your desk," and go check out some things in the room, etc. Ben was taking a VERY long time to accomplish this, plus he wasn't understanding everything he was reading, and seemed flustered. It was unusual for him to be this way, but I think he had anticipated this day for a couple of days now and the excitement was too much. Plus, old friends kept coming into the room and distracting him because he wanted to talk with them. His teacher commented that he was taking awhile to finish his checklist. And, it seemed like she jotted something down when he did finish. I thought, "Dang! I hope this wasn't some kind of assessment, because this isn't usually how Ben behaves."
Afterwards, Ben was quite intent on visiting his old, first grade classroom. He repeated several times that he wanted to go there. When he peeked in, there was a new teacher in there and a whole new setup. I could see that this was curious to him, possibly even bothered him. On the way home, I asked him if he was sad Mrs. Kirk wasn't there. He half-heartedly said "no." I asked him if he expected to see Mrs. Kirk when he looked in the classroom. He said softly, "yes." I knew it. I think he wanted everything to be the same, even though he was starting second grade. He thought for awhile and said something like, "I think that second grade is pretty much going to be a lot like first grade." I think he was dealing with the change internally, weighing everything out and figured out that it's going to be OK.
I love that.