We had Parent-Student-Teacher conferences tonight, preceded by report cards yesterday.
Our kids are smart and well-behaved.
Huh. You could have fooled me. Well, at least the well-behaved part.
Actually, I’m mostly kidding. They’ve been pretty good these days, both of them. And their teachers concur.
Aimee’s report card was glowing. Her teacher said she was reading well above grade level and she is often paired up with older kids for classroom activities. Her spelling and math were outstanding, too. Nothing on the report card showed she was anything but at or above grade 2 level. I asked her teacher if there was anything we needed to work on, and she had a tough time coming up with anything.
Jack, too, had a great report. His strongest area seems to be math but he is certainly making strides in reading too. His teacher said he was respectful and attentive and enthusiastic. She told us that when there is a substitute teacher, she always tells them they can go to Jack for information. That’s what I like about him. His uninhibited willingness to keep people informed of every conceivable situation.
I was a little worried about Jack’s class. He tells us, daily, about a particular kid who is sent out of the classroom for failing to respect the rules and the teacher. This happens frequently, like several times a day. He has been suspended, already, at least once. From kindergarten. I would be mortified, as a parent, if we even got so much as a letter sent home about behaviour, let alone a suspension. Either this kid is a completely uncontrollable sociopathic monster, or his parents are not concerned enough with his behaviour to discipline him. I can’t imagine. The teacher, in a blatant breach of confidentiality, but in response to several fairly leading, open-ended questions from me, told us that this kid picked up a chair and threatened her with it the other day (I must confess to fishing a little, but she probably shouldn’t have told us that). Thank goodness Jack hasn’t been sucked over to the Dark Side by this kid – obviously the consequences do not make the behaviour appealing enough for him to chance it. I worried that there was a chance that Jack could go the other way – he certainly needs to work on respect at home – but apparently he has it mastered at school, and that’s a darn good start.
The gym teacher, though, that was in interesting conversation. I usually just make a vague comment and let the teachers respond. This time, I said something like “He’s a wild man” as Jack took off across the gym at full speed. The gym teacher, contrary at first to what the classroom teacher said, told us, “Yeah, I was a little worried at first, he’s pretty wild.” He knew Jack from daycare/being Aimee’s brother. Hmmm, I thought. What is that supposed to mean? That he was a screaming brat? “But he’s really well controlled in the gym. He’s a leader.” The leader bit relieved me a bit, because I worried we’d cheated him by keeping him back a year, due to the January birthday. I guess not. Maybe the extra year of age does give him a maturity advantage. Then we looked at Aimee, who was spread-eagled half way up the climbing wall. He said, “I was worried about her too, at first. She’s so small, I was afraid she would be too fragile, too precious. Small kid, small voice. But she really gets in there and participates. She’s doing great.”
So, a relief, but not unexpected. Both kids are smart, sociable, and respectful away from home. What more could a parent want? Couldn’t ask for a better report, especially whent he teachers can’t even tell us what we should work on. I guess we should keep doing what we’re doing. Whatever it is. Maybe if I figure it out, I’ll write a book.