Last week I got a call from Olivia's teacher, Ms. Jodie. Ms. Jodie has been a wonderful first teacher for Olivia. She has learned so much from her and she has grown both physically and developmentally by leaps and bounds. Jodie wanted to talk with me about the possibility of Olivia moving up to the 3-6 year classroom next year, instead of her spending another year in the toddler classroom. We assumed that she would spend one more year in her current classroom because she will not yet be three years old when the school year starts back up in August. After observing Olivia for the entire year and having a few other teachers observe her as well, they all agreed that Olivia should advance into the next classroom in order for her to thrive in her education. I cannot tell you how proud this makes us. Every mother thinks that their child is smart, but to have her teachers tell you that they think she is doing so well just makes you beam with pride! I had some concerns at first, with Olivia moving on at such a young age, but Ms. Jodie assured me that this would be the best thing for Olivia. After discussing it with her at length we fully agree. So because Olivia will not be returning to Ms. Jodie's class next year (sniff-sniff), she was able to participate in the Moving Up Ceremony at school on Wednesday. Now she had no idea what she was participating in, or what "moving up" even meant for that matter. But it gave us a reason to go with our cameras and capture the event, while we choked back tears at that fact that our little girl was growing up right in front of our eyes! Olivia is still in a crib for crying out loud, how is it possible that she will be learning with 6 year olds next year? What I do know is that she thrives in this school and that it has been the best decision we have made for our girl. I am so proud of what she has learned this year and I cannot wait to see what next year brings for her.
After the ceremony we went back to Olivia's classroom to celebrate with cake (Olivia's favorite thing in the whole wide world!). The child scarfed down two pieces before I had to tell her that she had eaten enough. The nice thing about the ceremony was that she got to celebrate with her friends. Some of them will be moving up next year and some of them will be staying in Ms. Jodie's class. Although we will miss Ms. Jodie terribly we know that this is what is best for Olivia. Ms. Jodie told us she wishes she could keep Olivia in her class for another year, but she knows that Olivia is ready to move on.
Before the school year can come to a complete close there was one last event that we were invited to attend...the end of the year picnic. All of the toddler students and their parents gathered together to celebrate the end of the school year. It was a chance for all of the kids to say goodbye to each other and for us to catch up with the parents of those students. It was also our chance to give a big thanks to Olivia's teachers for all they have done for her this year.
Olivia had a wonderful time running around with her friends during the picnic, but she did find time to enjoy some lunch too. There is nothing cuter than watching these little ones, sit at their little tables and eat lunch like big kids. Olivia has made some really great friends this year and I know she will miss them. Luckily she will see some of them throughout the summer while she attends summer camp at the school.
We could not leave without saying our final goodbyes to Olivia's teachers. Since she won't be returning to Ms. Jodie's class she won't see as much of them next year. She became very attached to Ms. Jodie and her two teacher assistants, Ms. Christy and Ms. Ashley. Olivia brought them each a present and gave them big hugs before we left. I even managed to grab a few pictures of Olivia with her amazing teachers.