Help Wanted

Piper’s kindergarten teacher quit today. She didn’t come back for the second day of school. It doesn’t really matter why. I’ve been told on good authority, though, that it wasn’t something Piper did. Whew.

So Piper had a substitute teacher in kindergarten today. It’s not ideal. In fact, it’s a mess. And there’s not a darn thing I can do about it. I’ve already tried. Believe me, I’ve tried. Piper seemed to be holding her own adjusting to the new school, new friends, new classroom, new rules, but this new teacher thing was too much.

“I hate the substitute! She’s boring. All she knows how to do is boring school! I want my teacher back!” Piper cried in my lap, curled up in a ball. “It’s not fair,” she said. I had to agree. Then I had to tell her that her teacher, the one she’d known for exactly one day, wouldn’t be coming back. New Kindergarten Teacher couldn’t hack it. I’m not that surprised, but none of that matters to Piper. She just wants what she expected, the teacher I told her she’d have. Her five-year-old self can’t understand the adult world and how a new teacher could quit after one day. “Who’s going to be my teacher then?” Piper asked.

“Well, the substitute you had today will be here for the rest of the week,” I explained.

“How long is that?”

“Three more days. Your principal promised me today that you’d have a new teacher by next week. So, three more days with the substitute and then you get a brand new teacher.”

“Why three days?”

“Your principal wants to find the best one. He wants to make sure he gets it right. He’s going to find a special new teacher for your class.”

“But I hate the substitute. She should go back to substitute school and become less boring!” I went to school today to meet the substitute after I met with the principal. She was perfectly nice and competent. Sissy had this particular substitute several times in her own class and raved about her. In fact Piper’s class seemed much better managed the second day under the substitute’s direction.

“I understand, P. I’m sorry,” I said. I listened to her complain some more. I told her I was proud of how she’d adjusted so far and I knew that she’d do okay with this change, too. I told her that sometimes change is hard and uncertainty is harder. I told her that whatever teacher gets Piper in her class is the luckiest teacher in the school.

“I’m not going back,” Piper said. I bit my tongue so I wouldn’t tell her she didn’t have to because she does. I have to make her. I have to agree that this sucks and let the school do its job. I have to hand her her lunchbox and her backpack and send her back in, even if I don’t want to because I have enough faith in this school and even more in Piper.

19 thoughts on “Help Wanted

  1. Oh Melissa, I feel your and Piper’s pain. We never had a teacher quit but there have been many years of “hating” change and uncertainty in our house. I told Jordan from the time she was only a few days old that Life wasn’t Fair. Boy has she learned that lesson many times over. These days she’s “Mad & Sad” at the situations life doles out. As I like to say, “What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger”. Love ya

  2. Oh man I’d be so pissed too. That’s so unfair to the kids: first day of school with all these new things, and the authority figure in the classroom suddenly changes. I suppose it’s one of those things in life that you wish you could prevent from happening but nonetheless still do from time to time. Good luck with the transition!

    • I’ve went through the range, Nina. Concerned, pissed, frustrated. I do wish I could shield her from the upset, but I suppose it’s life. I met with the principal, I met the sub, I emailed the lead teacher, I volunteered for lunch duty. That’s all I can do. Piper has to go through this herself, and I have to believe she’ll be better having endured it. It just feels so big to her right now. Thanks for sending luck our way. I’m ready to be beyond the transition and back to boredom.

  3. Just think about whatever crisis the original teacher was going through. Be glad it didn’t come out and affect those little cuties. At least it was so short and Piper didn’t get even more attached. I can see why you had anxiety about sending her today! I hope it went even better than yesterday.

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