First week of High School – tick

I’ve just watched Geordie ride off down the path on his way to High School. Last week he walked but his friend rides, so Geordie wanted to ride too. He was a bit wobbly — his bag was a tad lopsided and made him keep veering to the left. A few false starts and he disappeared around the corner — leaving me standing there, hoping he’ll make it to school in one piece.

The life of a parent of a child with special needs. Or any parent really.

We are in our second week of High School.

G and O Day 1
Best mates – on their way to their first day of High School.

Last week was pretty much a non-event. Geordie went to school, attended classes, participated in a lot of getting to know you activities and came home each day very tired but happy.

He memorised his timetable (which I am still grappling with to decipher) and knows where all his classes are.

He likes all his teachers.

He’s made a few new ‘friends’ (i.e. people he feels comfortable to work with in class).

He loves agriculture — even though, or maybe because, the teacher made them clean out the stinky, stuffy chook pen in their first lesson.

He really, really likes the Year 7 Coordinator, who he has been lucky enough to score for Mathematics and Digital Media.

He has a few classes with his best mate, and a few without — and he’s okay with that!

I could not have hoped for a better start.

We did everything we could to make this transition smooth and we can pat ourselves on the back as much as we like, but the truth is — Geordie was ready. He’s done the hard yards, he has the determination and the resilience. He made this happen.

Knowing how well he’s managed this first week (and the lead-up to it), if I could go back and do it again, I still wouldn’t do anything different. Except — I may not worry quite as much about it.

Transitions are hard. Change is hard.

Nothing is impossible.

My advice to my past-self (and my future self for the next time we have a transition of any sort):

♦ provide lots of opportunities to familiarise with the new setting/schedule/procedures

♦ talk about expectations

♦ listen to and acknowledge concerns (including your own)

♦ give associated parties a ‘heads up’ about what they could expect and an opportunity to show what they can offer

♦ when you’ve done everything you can, sit back and try to relax —it will be okay (and if it’s not, you’ll know what to do).

G and O Day 1 inside
“We’ll be right. We’ve been here before. We know our way around.”
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