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The teacher swirled into the class like the Tasmanian Devil.  She’s got bleached blond hair, big silver hoops, and a long, flowy skirt with chevron stripes.  She oozes youth (even though I’ve calculated her age to be slightly above mine), excitement and enthusiasm. 

“This is going to be the BEST.  YEAR.  EVER,” my third grader told me the day before, when she returned home from her first day of school.  “Mrs. Bairos is so incredibly nice.” 

At “Expectation Night,” which is an opportunity for parent’s to come in, meet the teacher, and talk over the year’s syllabus, I can see why Paige thinks she’s the greatest thing since pop tarts. 

“I’m Nichole Briggs,” I say, extending my hand.  “Paige’s mom.” 

“Oh my God!” she gushes, like a seventeen year old.  “I just adore her already!  She’s the best helper.  If I need anything, she’s always the first one to raise her hand!” 

“Oh yes, she loves to help.  And I have to tell you, the turtle x-ray you were talking about a few minutes ago, Paige thinks that’s the coolest thing ever.  She came home today talking all about it.” 

“Did she really?  Did she tell you she was the ONLY one in the class to say it had a spine?” 

“No,” I reply.  “She didn’t tell me that.”

“Usually, you know, they’re eight.  When a few start saying it doesn’t have a spine, the class will collectively together say that it doesn’t.  Paige was the ONLY one to stand strong and say ‘That turtle DEFINITELY has a spine!’ And then you should’ve seen her face when the first group came up to view the x-ray and saw that it did indeed have a spine!” 

I laugh at the story, but I am not surprised.  I tell her, “Paige is definitely an individual. She’s not interested in following the crowd and being like everyone else.” 

The teacher nods her head quickly, but there’s more to her story.  “And then she asked if I had anymore x-ray’s, and I told her, ‘There’s a whole drawer right over there.  But no peeking!  You can see them tomorrow when we talk more about it.’  And she can hardly contain herself!  She kept looking over at that drawer all day!” 

I have to say.  I saw a lot of parent’s go over and introduce themselves to the teacher yesterday, but she didn’t talk so in depth about their child as she talked about mine.  It’s a proud mom moment when the teacher has already connected with your child and can already see their appreciation for learning. 

“Allie, are you going to miss your sister, now that she’s away at school most of the day?” I asked my little one.

“No.  Now I get to do whatever I want without her bossing me around!” 

Spoken like a true little sister.

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May your third grade year be your most exciting yet!

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