Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Today, we knocked out 2 of our 3 parent-teacher conferences. I was thrilled with the reports I received!

M's was first, and hers was a breeze. She has the same teacher for Kindergarten that E had last year, and her daughter and E are good friends, so we have had the chance to interact socially on several occasions (in as much as little kids birthday parties are social interaction! Oh the joys of mommyhood!) As M is the youngest of 3, she's also been exposed to the learning curves of the boys, so she was in great shape for this first grading period.

Her teacher showed us her portfolio, which included pictures M has drawn to tell stories. We all got a good grin over the fact that when she draws herself, M colors her hair first with yellow, then does a layer of brown over top. Girl already knows highlights and lowlights! Ahh, my little fashionista!

After we wrapped up with M's conference, we wandered to the opposite corner of the building to meet with J's teacher. He's always been a bit of a challenge where school is involved. He has lots of good stories in his head, but struggles to put them on paper. He's in the 3rd grade, reads at a 5th-6th grade level, and is so incredibly capable. He is just stubborn! He hates to do the work required to show how capable he is. First and Second grades were both just exhausting for me, knowing he was more than capable of doing the work, and just refused to do it!

This year has already felt better. He has seemed less frustrated, which of course means daddy and I are less frustrated. He's excited about some of the projects they are doing. He's reading for FUN (gasp!). He still hates spelling, but it doesn't get to all be rice and roses at once - the shock might kill me.

So, we met with J's teacher, who reaffirmed what we felt like we were seeing. His writing has improved vastly, and I think she's a huge reason why. She has found, over the years, that it's easier for kids to write non-fiction. Hello! Let the kids tell stories about things that they LIVED! She showed us his autobiography that he's been working on, and he really has come SO far. It was awesome, and I was so proud and excited. She wants him to continue to work on it, but it was the only area where she said she really knew he could improve - the rest of the stuff he's doing great at! YAY!

For some quick background, kids are K, 1st and 3rd grades at public school. I've been really happy with our teachers, but I'm blessed with the opportunities to be in the building often (while I work full time, my boss is AWESOME, and makes sure that I have all the time I need to just be mom, too!)I'm in the library as a volunteer once a week, plus help out with PTO and other stuff. I know that being there has made a difference, and I know that not all working moms get that opportunity, so I am grateful every day I get to walk through those doors.

Is anyone else doing conferences? What challenges do your kiddo's face? How involved are you able to be with your kids' school? I'd love to hear from you!

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