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The End of Year Wobbles May 20, 2012

Ms. Jane’s classroom, early morning, on the first day of school.

End of Year Wobbles!

At this time of year, as we enjoy end of the year traditions (a hike, a walk downtown for ice-cream) and prepare for graduation, we notice a few children having a case of what we call ‘the end of year’ wobbles!  Already this year we have said goodbye to a few families who are moving from Pullman to faraway places.  We’ll miss the families and especially their children.  Other children are preparing to leave the safe, secure, familiar feeling of their classroom, where they have grown and learned for three, and in a few cases, four years, and move on to elementary school.  They are going from being the big fish in a little pond to the little fish in a much bigger school.  Many of our four-to-five year olds will be dual enrolled next year, spending half the day with us, and half-the-day at Public School kindergarten.  Many will begin riding the school bus on a daily basis.  Change is unsettling, exciting, and a little scary.

Our soon to be graduates often go through a heightened flurry of activity.

“Oh my gosh, it seemed like I had forever to paint a map of the world, count to a thousand, complete my book of division work, read all of the Bob books, write my story . . . and now there are only three weeks left!”

They also go through a heightened need for hugs and conversations.  I can no longer slip into a classroom to quietly deliver a message, without being bear hugged by our kindergarteners.

As a parent, if you look back at times of change in your own life – leaving home to go to college, getting married, becoming a parent – you’ll perhaps recognize those feelings we call ‘the end of year wobbles’.  Lots of emotion, lots of excitement, all mixed together with a sprinkling of butterflies and nerves.  You might even be having some of these feelings, too, as you watch your once so little child, now with a big kid smile, walk proudly forward to receive a graduation diploma.  Treasure each stage and age, because before you know it they’ll be walking across a high school stage to receive a diploma, and worries about the first school bus ride will be replaced with worries about the first time driving the family car!

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