School Skills aka English Skills

“Estamos bien,
Sobran los billetes de cien, 
No hay nada mal estamos bien,
Esta todo bien, hey
To’ los míos están bien, estamos bien, hey
No te preocupes estamos bien.”

– Bad Bunny


I have no problem talking to anyone about the anxiety I feel towards Fernandito and school.  I was at a Reading/Language Arts conference a few months ago where I was one of two teachers there.  Everyone else was a director or some other important position in education.  And we all went out to lunch together and that’s when I expressed the anxiety I felt about sending Fernandito to school.  One of these directors told me that she sent her kiddo through the Gymboree School Skills class.  She said that it was a drop-off program but that parent could stay on-site.

Because of the trauma from the previous school, I was still filled with anxiety about it, but I signed him up last month, and first day, he was model student.  I remember thinking, “Who is this perfect child??”.  Not just that, I had explained to his teacher that he didn’t really speak English, and Fernandito pretty much made me look like a liar because his English was on fire!  Full on sentences and conversations, again, with his beautiful accent that I know won’t last long and that I’ll miss so much.  Some examples of his English that I overheard, “I think there are planets inside.” when the teacher asked to guess what was inside her bag.  “I will tell my teacher to help!” when a little girl lost her ball.  “I don’t want to sit down” when the teacher asked him to sit down.  It was pretty amazing.

And yes, I stayed there the entire hour and forty-five minutes getting up every 15 minutes to peek through the window to see how he was doing.  One, because I had to stay on-site the first day per Gymboree requirements, two, because I was freaking out.  But he did great.  I remember wanting to cry when I got home from relief.

The class is only once a week.  So second week, I also stayed because Fernandito wanted me to, and he was a little more comfortable, a little more squiggly, no longer that perfect child, but he did great.

Third class, I left.  I went to Target.  Picked him up, and teacher said he only brought me up once.

Fourth class, I left again, and when I picked him up, Fernandito didn’t want to put on his shoes, didn’t want to talk about his craft, so I told him I was going to ask how he did, and his teacher said that he did great.  She said that he communicates really well.  Fernando communicates really well.  My kid who didn’t speak til 2 1/2, who is being raised in a predominantly Spanish environment, communicates really well…in ENGLISH.

She said that he’ll say, “I don’t want to play this.  I want to go for a walk.”  WTH? Whose kid is this that wants to go for a walk?  I was impressed and amused at the same time.  And the teacher said she told him, “Sure! Just make sure you walk around the classroom only.” and that he did and then returned and said, “I’m ready to play.”  I am really grateful to his teacher for being such a badass for allowing for my son’s voice to be heard.

He has four more weeks, four more classes, before he starts state preschool.  Fernandito will be attending the preschool that’s at the same site I teach 5th grade at.  This recommendation came from another director that was at the training.  She said that it would probably put me at ease knowing he was at the same site I was at.  And when I pitched the idea to Fernandito, he was on board.  We’ll see how it goes.  This worrying never stops, but I am grateful to those that I share this with who don’t judge me, and instead offer their suggestions, their help.  I hope this blog provides some empathy for someone. Because it sure feels great knowing I’m not alone.

2 thoughts on “School Skills aka English Skills

  1. Watching our kids hit certain milestones is so rewarding but so vulnerable too. I’m glad he has adapted so well and hope he does well in preschool!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. He’s being raised in a home where the language of love is demonstrated! That’s all that matters! So excited to see how Fernandito does in Preschool.

    Liked by 1 person

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