I had parent-teacher conferences on back-to-back days this week. Here's what I learned from our kids' teachers:
Aaron made the honor roll! He's "satisfactory" in all academic
subjects, great on behavioral issues, and a hard worker and team player
in the classroom. I was surprised to hear he's actually ahead of
schedule on reading; I guess I was using Jada's precocious kindergarten friends
as my comparison group. It was helpful to get some tools from Aaron's
teachers on how to help him work more on his reading and writing. His
work in the hallway is markedly better than from three months ago. It also affirms that he is a lover and not a fighter: it reads "More than anything else I want for people to stop punching people in the face. We can be friends." Indeed!
Jada is one of her teacher's best students! She's super-fast with everything, always the first to finish an assignment and eager to take on more. Her remarkable memorization skills (and impaired social ability) lend credence to our suspicion that she may be a little autistic, which we'll be exploring at her developmental pediatrician appointment later this month, But in the classroom setting it makes her a star performer: she already knows all her presidents (the class is only up to Martin Van Buren) and when a portion of the class' list of 100 books fell off the wall and went missing (#31 to #35, to be exact) she was able to tell her teacher which book titles they were. Even her writing skills, which I have been banging on for months and which were her only blemish on her last report card (one B in a sea of A's), have improved: she got the class' only A, and her Betsy Ross report that was hanging on the wall outside the classroom was really good.
Our kids still have a ways to go in a lot of areas. But I'm glad they're doing well in school. Not that I will ease up on riding them about their homework and giving them more and harder homework. But I will remember to say "good job" more often and more sincerely.