I think I love my jardín. Its just that simple. Last Friday all 16 sets of parents attended our first meeting of the school year (yes, that´s the school-year that runs from March to December for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere) and got to meet the new teachers of our sala de 2 (2 yr old group) also known as Sala Lila.
We were asked to sit on the astroturf floor in the nice big gym-like space at the back of the building, a PH (planta horizontal, which means the building runs along one side of the lot and there is an enclosed yet open air play space that serves as a connector/hallway) in a nice big inclusive circle. The two young ladies who are our teachers were accompanied by one of the teachers from last year´s Salita de 1, who is more of a veteran and the nice but no-nonsense director with whom we parents generally communicate. All four ladies spent most of the meeting gently ribbing each other and laughing as they recounted what a typical day is like in Sala Lila.
The morning begins with a round of greeting songs (one of the teachers was gutsy enough to sing it herself and ask us to sing back, yeah, that was interesting!) and then a look at the calendar for the day. The calendar is a wood board with two images, one representing the weather for the day and the other representing the season. Above these pictures appears the day of the week, the numerical date and the month. It seems each day they discuss the numbers and count up to that number or some such thing WHICH EXPLAINS PERFECTLY WHY MY SON STARTED COUNTING TO TEN THIS WEEKEND ALL BY HIMSELF. Sorry for the caps, I couldn´t resist, because that´s how I have been feeling about this all day. As a matter of fact, for about the past 36 hours. Its not perfect (tres and seis seem to be giving him a little trouble) and he often misses cuatro all together but what the hell! He is 22 months old and he is counting to 10.
Now for the more seasoned mommys out there this must not sound like much of an accomplishment, but as a first-timer, I am ecstatic! All the more so because it never occured to me to try and teach numbers or letters yet (OK, so maybe I do sing the ABC song every now and then, but that´s because I like the tune, obviously!) My amusment knew no bounds when he grabbed a Newsweek in the car on Saturday and while attempting to shred it, first spoke to a picture of Steve Jobs and then turned the page and begin pointing at the letters and counting. All thanks to the morning calendar routine at school!!
And for once, no, I do not mind that he is counting in Spanish nor does it both me that he doesn´t really have a concept of quantities yet (though upon inspecting the fridge the other day he did start to touch each bottle of sauce and proclaim, “dos, tres, cinco, diez, cinco…”) Its simply the fact that he is already absorbing the building blocks of what will be the rest of his education and he is soooo freaking little! Now this is not a hard-core pushy nursery school with a 2 year waiting list nor a Montessori or Waldorf experience. Its a nice little jardin in Colegiales, with great spirit, teachers who seem to get along enough to laugh together at 5:30 on a Friday afternoon (nobody at MY office makes me smile past 5pm on a Friday, I should add!) and apparently some added bonuses like teaching numbers to one year olds.
Gushing about the baby genuis aside, I learned most of what I needed to fill in the blanks for now and my idea that they are doing a great job and I should just bud out, to a certain extent, was certainly reinforced. There was also talk of potty training, which I expected, a request that everybody start giving up passifers and bottles NOW or at least by the middle of the year (that´s July, folks) which I think is going to be a huge challenge since the first word out of his mouth every morning is “bottle”.
All in all it was a great experience, I am happy for my chippy Chipster and reassured that I am leaving him in the right place every day! Pheeewwwww!