Thursday, October 13, 2011

Parent/Teacher Conferences....

So I cried in the middle of Parent/Teacher conference today...

Parent/Teacher conference is one of those activities that I get really nervous about. Their is something about parent teacher conference that reminds me of getting called to the principals office. Even though I haven't been playing at the school age mom game for long there have been some surprises during parent/teacher meeting that can make me a little skittish.  This year thankfully the surprise was an incredible good one.

I can't give you the lolly yet though, so lets talk Chicken. I was not happy about his placement this year, but I am starting to change my mind and this meeting reinforced that even more.  Turns out the crazy little monkey is smart as a tack and having success in class on a lot of levels. His math, reading, and spelling are looking really good. Honestly I wasn't worried about him academically there are other things I worry about with him.  He learn to use his hand prattling and he tends to rush through reading and writing activities making more mistakes than is really necessary or appropriate.  Generally speaking though the kids doesn't have any thing that I don't still have as an adult, I tend to interrupt at meetings and over rush through things without as much detail. With awareness our hope is that these things improve with time, practice and focus.

Walking through the meeting with his teacher though gave me a great glimpse into how she does things and gave me a chance to really chat with her. As I listened to his teacher explain the manipulative nature of the activities she does, the way she asks for one thing a lot of ways, it struck me. It struck me that even though I may not get the warm fuzzies from this woman, she is a good match for my son.  She is consistent, uses a lot of hands on manipulation to work something out, and though there are worksheets they are short and presented in a way to keep his attention.  After the meeting we talked about ways to continue to help Chicken learn math skills and I am now going to volunteer in class next week to learn all the fun math games that we can do at home as a family. The final verdict on the first grade conference is good and we can both work together for the education of Chicken.

Now to the good part where I cry.  Walking into Bean's classroom with her wonderful teachers there was no telling what could come out of it, there were big warm fuzzies here I just wasn't sure what her academic performance was going to say. Honestly there was a little bit of preparing for the worst, I had a lot of fear that bean was already falling behind and that we were going to hear reading scores below grade level. They started by telling me how much they loved having Bean in class and what a great kid she is, I knew that. Then they got down to the business at hand and slid a 'score card' of her performance. I was so concerned that I didnt' really look at the paper at first blush, then they kept talking about how great she was doing at this point I looked. She is at or above grade level in ALL subjects. Our baby girl who we had fought so hard for the last 8 months was doing well, not just doing well but thriving. I started crying, couldn't help it, the relief that washed through my boy at that moment the pride.. After the teachers were so good as to get me a tissue I was able to pull myself together and we could finish up.

Listening to the rest of the meeting, on cloud nine, about the wonders of my amazing kid was just a treat. She is doing wonderful, her reading and writing are improving, she is articulate in class and very responsible.  When the teachers told me she was responsible, diligent, focused and could easily follow all her directions beautifully in class with out issues. At this point my mouth just about dropped open and stopped. 'I feel a little bad, I think it is the meds', I told the teachers. Their response was loosely whatever makes them successful is worth it and if she is focused to learn how to handle herself eventually she will be fine on her own.  I love these women and part of the reason Bean is doing so great is that she LOVES them too.  For some kids I think the teacher really makes the experience and that is the case here. Now even though she is doing fabulous we all need to keep an eye on things, be aware of where she is struggling and not let her hide when she does run into difficulties.

Looking forward I am expecting a great year for both kids and am really excited by all the things coming up this year. Both kids have teachers who like them and are out for their best interest. I feel like when there are concerns arising I can talk to these teachers. Maybe, just maybe I will get over my fear of parent/teacher conferences by the time the kids hit middle school, huh?


  1. Soooo glad to hear this! Congrats and good work! You are obviously a huge advocate for your children, which is making all the difference.