Thursday, October 16, 2014

Parent Teacher Conferences

Seventeen. This is year seventeen in my teaching career.

Five.  This is year five in the parent role at Parent-Teacher Conferences.

One.  This is the first year I have ever had any concern for my son's progress.

B has always been a good student.  He listens well, reads well, and calculates well.  He loves science and history.  His handwriting is borderline illegible, and he produced a failed writing piece a time or two.  However, no one has ever doubted his progress.

G is arguably smarter than B.  His entire life has been spent sitting stiller than his brother for stories. He plays with words and remembers everything.  He started Sunday School classes earlier, and talks about Vacation Bible School more than his brother.

This year at Parent-Teacher Conferences, G's kindergarten teacher shared her concerns about G's progress.  He does not color in the lines, nor can he write his name in recognizable letters.  He shows no ability to rhyme.  He recognizes only a handful of letters. He's sweet and he is well behaved at school, but he is struggling academically.

I took in all this news alone, as Josh was working.  This is uncharted territory.  Everything academic comes pretty easily to B and had seemed to come easily to G...except G hasn't wanted to play along.  So I haven't pushed him much.  Red will uprise against lessons at home.

I texted Josh the news on the way to B's conference--where, incidentally I learned that B is soaring through schoolwork.  I was picturing my boy repeating kindergarten and hating school because of it.  I'd been so cool about him repeating if necessary, since he'd just turned five the week before.  The reality of truly having to hold him back was much more menacing than I'd thought.

Then my husband, who did not excel at school and still spells atrociously, texted me back to reality.  G is little, he likes school, and "roam wasnt built in a day".

You know what?  He's right!  G has not been to preschool.  We haven't pushed letters and writing his name due to his Viking attributes.  He listens well, participates.  He's learned a handful of letters and their sounds, he can write his name, he's picked up coloring and he's connecting dots.  He knows a couple sight words and can write them.  He's learned all that in just a few weeks.
Even seventeen-year veteran teachers need to be schooled once in a while.

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