APPLYING TO KINDERGARTEN
| “Imagination is more important than information. Einstein said that, and he should know. And they come. And they look. And we push. And they fly. We to stay and die on our beds. They to go and die howsoever, yet inspiring those who come after them to find their own edge. And fly.” ― Robert Fulghum |
We are currently in the process of applying to kindergarten. My child is only 10 months away, which is inconceivable to me on so many levels. As I look in the mirror and see the changing face that time has bestowed on me, I am keenly aware that his age is closer to kindergarten than my years past it, yet still. It feels like yesterday. I so vividly remember EVERYTHING about it. The smell of the room, the formation of the desks, the feel of my brand new Osh Kosh B Gosh overalls.
Yet here I am now, under a pile of applications trying to figure out the next step in this city where applying for kindergarten is a competitive sport.
As I navigate the endless tours (7), and the crazy amount of time that represents (21 hours, and for those not counting, that’s a mere 3 hours shy of ONE FULL DAY), the parade of precocious 6th graders answering questions (for 45 minutes?! Before we even see the inside of of a classroom or meet a teacher?!), the merits of philosophical approaches, (Reggio, Developmental, Progressive, Traditional) the DEADLINES, (5 by May, 5 by October, 5 by the third light of the moon on the 26th hour of never) it’s becoming increasingly clear to me how to simplify the process: I’m taking myself back to kindergarten. I’m going to live by those 16 rules made famous by the book from whence the name of this blog post takes it’s cue; Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten (truncated and annotated for your reading pleasure):
- I’m going to share everything: I’m going to share the information about our family that would be pertinent for a school to know if they wanted us in their midst.
- I’m going to play fair: If I know the school is not a right fit, I’m not going to apply and instead, save the admissions director his/her precious time and energy to focus on someone who would willingly take the spot.
- I’m not going to hit people: If I don’t agree with a school’s methodology I will not disparage it to others. I will let others form their own opinions of said school and not pepper their view with my opinions. Besides, who cares what I think any way?!
- Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you: if a school makes the effort to bake muffins or a frittata and make iced tea, yes, I will have a bite and a glass.
- Live a balanced life: I will ensure that the school invokes the motto of “draw some, paint some, sing some, dance some work and play some” every day.
- Stand in solidarity: When I send Caleb into the world I want him to go to a place where he watches out for the traffic of life, where he stands in solidarity for what he believes in and sticks together with humanity.
- Be aware of wonder: I’m going to keep my eyes and heart open to the magic. And I’m going to ask Caleb to do the same.
- Remember the biggest word of all, LOOK: I’m going to look at everything. At the artwork, at the classrooms, the teachers, the students, the environment. Can I see Caleb’s art work on the walls, can I can picture him working in the classroom? Playing in the yard? Eating lunch at the picnic tables? Can I hear his voice reverberating in the air?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Originally hailing from the Empire State, Allyson Haas made her way west in search of…well, she’s still trying to figure that out. Until then, she stays busy in her kitchen creating unique flavors for her upcoming United Scoops of America (enter TM pending sign) brand. Outside of her domicile, you can find her chasing her mini around LA, attempting to get her children’s books published and trying to change the world one kind deed at a time. Follow her on Instagram at @allysonhillary and @365waystogood or by way of her previous web work at MisadventuresinMotherhood.net.