Saturday, November 17, 2012

Teacher Conferences

Its that time of year, the dreaded Teacher Conferences. I actually think Tom and I get more nervous about these than the kids do! This year was no exception. We were anxious and curious to hear how the kids were doing in school. We should have known....(cue menacing music)

Lets start at the top...

Jimmy - as you know, Jimmy needed to skip 5th grade, did not pass go, did not collect $200 and entered smack into grade 6 and middle school. Tom and I were worried about him academically but figured he'd be ok socially. Well, we were partly right. According to Mr Ianni (his homeroom and main teacher) Jimmy has easily slid into grade 6. He is very soical, friendly to everyone and has friends in every grade. This is (apparently) unusual as 6th graders are usually not confident enough to talk to the older students - not our Jimmy! He is keeping up well academically but is somewhat inconsistent. When he applies himself, he does really well (A's and B's) when he doesnt, well...he doesnt do well (go figure).  He talks non-stop and while he has curbed some of his interrupting in class, he asks a million questions and often gives the teacher advice. Mr Ianni had a hard talk with him about being distracting vs being a leader. Its up to Jimmy, he can go either way and now is the time to choose. He also needs to stop being so frustrated in gym class when other students arent as "committed" as he is. (put not so nicely, hes competitive and doesnt like it when people dont apply themselves whole heartedly to gym. Wait till he gets to high school!)

Mdme Doyle was up next, his French teacher. Given Jimmy declared at the beginning of the school year "I'm going to OWN French this year", it is his favorite class. His teacher raved about him, catching on quickly, helps others, has really creative ideas, is doing really well and excelling. She seems to love him. We had a long post conference talk about how does he act in her class vs Mr Ianni's ? can he apply some of that to his main classroom?  

After dinner he asked me, "how did you think that went?" I said, "it doesnt matter what I think, what do you think?"  J -  "Well...I think it went pretty good. There arent any new things I need to work on, no surprises and so I can just keep working on my behavior in class.  I might need to work harder at it but at least its not somehting new"  I think we are raising a perpetual optimist!

Kay - she also has adjusted really well to her new school. Her teacher says she's friends with everyone, doesnt have a "clique" but really plays with everyone. Ms Chung is somewhat surprised by this as most of these kids have been together since they were in pre-school and its a very tight knit community. She really eager and passionate to learn and isnt afraid of asking questions, getting up close and answering questions (even when she doesnt know the answer) Ms Chung loves that Kay isnt afraid of being wrong. She seems to be keeping pace with the ciriculum and is right in line with where she should be.  However, she is easily distracted and has a hard time staying focused. She needs to be redirected a number of times a day.  But, once reminded is (usually) pretty good.  You have seen in earlier posts that shes really active in class/school with reading at assembly and participating in the school songs and dances.

Billy - he's our Bill. He has some really good friends and loves everyone in class. He's a very good reader and good at math but has a hard time keeping his hands to himself. He likes to sit "right" next to people and hug them. He has an issue with personal space and is somewhat of a squirrel. Many times during a week she needs to move him to sit by himself or put him on a time out. Hes curious and loves what they are learning about (dinosaurs, math, reading, etc) Ms Cutz is VERY no nonsesnse and seems to be a really good teacher for Billy, structured and will push him hard.

So, overall, nothing we havent heard on each of them no matter the teacher or the school or the grade. I guess it just shows, we are who we are. I suspect that in their 1st job reviews they'll each get similar feedback. And, as our friends say ...Tom and I have the exact kids we should have. Nature vs Nuture, I ask you:)       

What I love is that they are curious, outgoing, agile, engaged and friendly to everyone. I wish they could monitor/pace out their behavior a bit more, but while it certainly drives me crazy (and their teacher too) I also think it'll serve them well as adults.

(Feel free to dig into the archives of this blog and read their former conferences, I think you'll find them erily similar)