Sebastian’s last day of nursery school was June 21.
As I sat on the floor with your photos and paper scraps around me, making your teachers’ end of year gifts, I remembered. I remembered leaving you at school and walking out the door. You were just two and a half. We had only been in the country for 3 months. It took me a week to leave you. The first day we all went together. The next day papa-daddy stayed with you and then finally on the third day, I stayed. It was so hard for me to let go. But I’m so glad I did.
Three years you have been embraced and cared for by an amazing team of teachers, therapists, and volunteers. And at the end of every year I was always thankful you’d be going back. Because they know you. And they love you. Except this year. This year we are both ready to move forward.
I am so proud of you Sebastian. I’m proud of me too. You and I were inseparable. In Egypt, there was no one else, we only had each other. There were no teachers or baby sitters. There was no family. There were few, very good friends. And there were good therapists. But we were on our own.
This year as I hugged your teachers who have known you for years, we both struggled to keep back the tears. They were just as proud of you and has seen you grow so much. You changed their lives. And they will miss you. Because you rock. In so many ways.
Sebastian is an engaging and happy little boy who upon arriving at school, scans the environment, seemingly thinking “what is most interesting today?” and more importantly “where are my friends playing?” He quickly lets you know that he is ready to play. He communicated his play choices using his engaging smile, his eye gaze toward the intended destination or by making a choice with the asistance of his Personal Communication book. Sebastian’s ability to clearly respond to Yes and No questions has grown tremendously this year. A smile is definitely a “yes” and looking up and away is ” no”. The clarity of his responses couldn’t be more evident as many of his preschool peers now understand his choices and easily engage in communicative dialogue with him. Sebastian’s ability to indicate yes and no consistently and clearly has allowed him to show us how much he knows about the world. He can now show us that he recognizes colors, shapes, letters, numbers, animals and body parts.
Sebastian’s social nature is evident form the moment you meet him. He displays the biggest smile when facing the familiar faces of his peers and teachers. When that occurs, his eyes twinkle with excitement and it is very clear that he is happy and ready to engage. It is quite common to see him in the classroom surrounded by children drawn to his gentle and warm personality.
Books, stories, and music are among his favoite activities. He enjoys Guided Learning Circle and is an active participant in our music and dancing circles. He is often chosen by his peers as a partner in pretending to row a boat, to dance and to play a part. Over the last school year Sebastian’s roles in play have included: the hansome prince”, “the fairy”, “the man with a moustache”, and most recently “Capatian America.”
Sebsatian also loves to feel his body in motion. There is no greater joy that to hear his giggles as he is raced around the playground in his “red racer” wheelchair/sled or in the arms of his teachers. Another exciting and preferred experience is to be placed at the top of the slide where he can then wiggle and giggle until he slides down the length of the slide where a teacher and most often a peer await him. Sebastian’s infections giggles and smiles are noticed from every corner of the playground.
Sebastian is always eager to challenge himself in play. His endurance and stamina during physical activities has increased noticeably this year. Motivation is the key that wills him to propel his walker forward or to take big steps, while supported by a teacher. Further developing tageting skills has been part of Sebastian’s educational goals within the nursery school environment. He has increased his accuracy in targeting switches, preferred toys and pictures choices. His ability to reach for, and mainting grasp has also increased, whether it be a shovel, a paintbrush or a fairy wand.
Sebastian has had a fabulous year at Nursery School. We are all very pround and happy of his progress. We see that he is now ready to move on to the next stage of his learning journey. He has made remarkable gains in the area of communication and it is suspected that those gains will contine to positively impact his social and cognitive skills.
His sweet presence, the twinkle in his eyes and his engaging nature will certainly be missed in our classroom. We wish Sebastian and his family all the best in the new transition to school.