Friday, July 31, 2009

Farewell Mary Poppins

Miss Laura & Nick, "water day" on the play deck, July 2009
Today Nick is saying goodbye to Miss Laura, his very fabulous preschool teacher of two years.

Apparently, working with Nick over the last few years has had a profound effect. Miss Laura is leaving to further her elementary/special education degree and pursue an autism endorsement. I couldn’t be happier for her.

Miss Laura came into our lives as an answer to prayer during a time when we were lost and confused about which path to take for Nick. Things clicked between us instantly. Most importantly she got Nick and Nick was taken with her.

Nick began preschool withdrawn with no real student-teacher or peer bonds, parallel played exclusively with the trains, couldn’t cope with transitions, and couldn’t sit through circle time. Then there were the sensory issues: he avoided the climber like the plague, couldn’t tolerate the noise in the gym or getting his hands messy during art. He melted down daily in the hall as he approached the door to his class every morning – his anxiety heightening with every step until it finally bubbled over.

Over time we witnessed a transformation. One by one he shed these challenges like layers of an onion. I still remember the first time he came home and was able to tell us about his day. Or the first time he read a story aloud to his class during circle time.

Most of the time now, Nick is just one of the other kids. He has a favorite teacher (Miss Laura, of course!) and lots of friends. The climber is a favorite during recess and Nick is quite the budding artist. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not without any challenges – they’re just more subtle these days and not so much at the forefront all day, every day.

I don’t think Nick’s outcome would have been the same had he not had a teacher so willing and so invested in seeing him succeed. It’s because of these last two years that I’m able to look forward to Nick beginning Kindergarten in just a few weeks with confidence.

Hubs sent Miss Laura a thoughtful, heartfelt thank you letter for us. So touching it was, it even made me cry. Nick left for school this morning proudly clutching a little gift bag for his favorite teacher with a gift he helped pick out… a silver necklace and pendant, a circle with a shooting star in the center and inscribed around the circle the phrase, “one person can make a difference, and that person is you.” So true.

She entered our lives like Mary Poppins and now, her work done, she takes flight with a fond farewell.

7 comments:

Niksmom said...

What a lovely tribute to Miss Laura. And such transformation. Thank you for sharing it with us; it gives me hope for my own Nik to overcome some of those same issues.

(On a completely different note, my word verification? CROOPITY. It just made me laugh!)

goodfountain said...

What a great experience for Nick! The right teacher can make all the difference. (Still waiting to find ours...)

kyra said...

wow. what a wonderful teacher and friend to have had in Nick's life, in all your lives! a gift.

A Dusty Frame said...

hey you:) Are you ok? I was checking your blog and it looks like you're pretty quiet.
Lizzie

快車 said...

恨一個人,比原諒一個人,更傷力氣。 ..................................................

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kristina said...

thanks for sharing your story. My son has adhd and you give me hope!