Ava “graduated” on Friday. While she is thrilled about this transition, we are quite sad. Her teacher Ann has been with her for 8 hours a day for the past 3 school years. She’s helped us raise Ava and she has greatly influenced our family’s beliefs and values.
I know Ava has to move on, but we’ll never find a teacher or a school that is as nurturing and loving as her preschool has been. I remember when Ava first went to school before she was even three years old. The teachers would hug her and kiss her and hold her on their laps when she was sad. Over the years, they fostered independence with their continuous positive encouragement. They stood by as Ava learned how to pump the swing, climb up the slide, and finally this year, climb into the big tree in the front of the school. They rarely helped the children with these types of endeavors because they wanted them to feel the pride that comes with doing something on your own.
One of the things I’ve truly appreciated about her preschool are all of the natural materials. The only plastic to be found is in the outdoor play kitchen. All other toys are wood, metal, silk, and wool. With a degree in macrobiotics, Ann knew how to prepare the most nutritious and delicious snacks like nori and other sea vegetables, homemade waffles and granola, and she and the kids made their own bread.
Ann has also made the children several gifts over the years including wool baby dolls that look like the children, star babies for their birthdays, a toy pony, and this year she gave them each a quilt for graduation with the shape of an animal that the children chose.
I’m certain our next child will go to this preschool, so it’s not good-bye forever. But it is good-bye to Ava’s preschool years as she ventures forward to kindergarten.