I am so overwhelmed with so many emotions right now I honestly don’t know where to start.
So we went to the grade 7 orientation with Matthew tonight. Grade 7 here in Nova Scotia is a stepping stone from elementary school to junior high school. A bigger school with lots more kids from several different elementary schools.
Matthew has been very apprehensive about this change and so have we. I hated junior high. However after the tour tonight all I can say is Matthew is pumped.
We saw the school and heard about a lot of the different aspects of school life there. We saw the cooking room, the technology lab, computer lab, sewing room, library, gym, police community liaison office, guidance, etc etc. We also saw the Learning Centre where Matthew will be. After the tour we went back to the Learning Centre and sat and talked with the teacher who is the “head” of it, Mr. Bill Bussey. he looks like Santa Claus and is just as jovial!! Matthew immediately LOVED him. They started talking about birds (as he has a lot of pictures of birds around the centre) and it was an instant friendship. Mr Bussey talked to Matthew about a lot of things he’ll get to do and Matthew talked and talked and talked right back. I think he found his spot The program in the centre is as individual as each student there. They can be streamed into the academic classrooms or they can stay in the centre full-time – whatever works for the child. The kids in the centre learn a lot of life’s skills and they are taught these through hands on activities within the school. (Watering the plants, helping the maintenance staff, helping with the breakfast program, etc) There are lots of filed trips and nature outings to places that “teach” without “teaching” if you kwim. When it was time to leave Matthew said that this new school already feels like a “second home” and that he couldn’t wait to get there in September. The staff we spoke with were wonderful and the senior students in grade 9 that did the tours were super.
When we got out in the van Matthew was talking NON STOP about Mr. Bussey and he said “I knew I would find someone in this world just like me.” referring to Mr. Bussey. I got all filled up. I’m thrilled that he likes it, I’m elated that he is going to have “a place” there and I guess I am a little sad…..I don’t know if sad is the right word or not….that I don’t know, I guess I’m sad that tonight I saw firsthand out in public that he does need “his place”. I saw his “needs” tonight and while I’m thrilled that we have a place here that can accommodate his “needs”, it makes me sad sometimes that he can’t just “be”. I don’t know if that makes sense but tonight I saw a Special Needs student. BUT I saw a student whi is going to have those needs met and that makes me so happy. I saw tonight that school isn’t just reading, writing and arithmetic. I saw that school can be learning how to “be”. And that’s going to help Matthew so much. In elementary he had adaptations made to “help” him, but this Learning Centre is going to let him shine in his own way.
Thank God the education system has come as far as it has. There was never anything like this when I was in school. Granted, I know there is still a long way to go but this centre has people there who know how to teach my son and know what to do to help him advance. And if it’s in areas other than Math and Science, so be it.
He is excited and he is looking forward to something that has to do with school. That makes me want to cry. Good tears. His elementary school team has been so wonderful I find it hard to imagine anything better, but tonight I got a little glimpse of heaven.
Sounds corny I know, but there is no way the typed word can do justice to how I am feeling right now.
Just wanted to share.
Until next time…