Last Wednesday Penny walked along with her parents and her little sister in her stroller to her new school; The Alexandra Academy. It was a giant building with a huge cement staircase looming in front of it. Her mother hugged her and kissed her on the cheek and then pushed Maisy towards the daycare door. Maisy’s they’re taking me somewhere and leaving me radar was on high and she was already shrieking and bucking in the stroller.
Her father took her hand “Ready Henny Penny?”
Penny frowned “Don’t call me that. The kids will hear you and I’ll get it all year….”
Jeff Russell winced apologetically “Sorry Sweetie. Let’s go in. I bet they’re nice.”
“Do they have recess here?” She asked nervously.
Jeff grinned “They have recess everywhere. Because these kids like to play too.”
Penny looks even more worried “What if they don’t wanna play….with me?”
Jeff looks sympathetic. She was starting a new school more than half way through the year. It was a natural fear. He tried to look encouraging “They might be shy at first but they’ll warm up.”
As they found the classroom door Penny felt like there was a pit in her stomach and her shoes were made of lead. Her father had to tug on her hand to get her to walk through it.
The room had bright coloured décor and was as inviting and homey as any grade one classroom could be. There were some other kids coming in at the same time and she felt their stares. She was the new kid, fresh meat.
A petite brown skinned woman with wide set brown eyes and short curly black hair approached them with a sweet welcoming smile “You must be Penny Baldwin. I’ve been emailing with your mom. Welcome to the Academy. I’m Miss Hawkins.” She leaned down and looked Penny right in the eyes “I’ve heard you’re quite the artist.”
Penny looked taken aback by the greeting at first and then was slowly disarmed by her new teacher. She finally smiled when she was called an artist and nodded.
Jeff let go of his daughter’s hand and leaned down and kissed her on the top of the head “See, not so bad?” He smiled at the teacher, choosing not to introduce himself and make it about grown ups talking when this woman seemed to be building needed rapport. “We’ll meet you out front after school Penny. Have a great day Honey.”
Miss Hawkins, glanced up and gave the father a smile and a short nod. The quicker she connected with them, the easier it was for the parents to escape “You came on the perfect day. We have art first thing today, a double…so it’s an extra long class. Have you ever used watercolour paints before?”
Penny nodded eagerly, not even noticing her father slip right out the door. Maybe this new school would be alright, maybe.