A couple weeks ago I had my first ever parent-teacher conference. Felt weird, being the parent rather than the kid, but I’d also looked forward to it, since I didn’t have a definitive idea how Sadie was doing. She loves loves loves school, and has made big strides in reading and writing since she started kindergarten, but the feedback was indirect.
Turns out the teacher just loves her, and Sadie is the class star. It was like me in first grade all over again. That and the “she’s very quiet” was what my mother heard from every teacher about me. They’d always tell her “he should talk more.” Other kids strive to be better, seeing what she can do.
She started out socially awkward and has improved dramatically. We talked about the names I hear, and don’t, at home, and who her buddies are. The teacher got some insight as to how quiet she isn’t at home, and the leadership/oldest child role she plays.
I mentioned how she can sit and draw for hours and that being her favorite thing, and the teacher was aware of that, and how meticulous Sadie is. Currently Sadie wants to be something like a comic book/strip artist/writer when she grows up. She’s intrigued by books written and illustrated by the same person.
We talked again about the speech issue. Sadie was supposed to have had an evaluation. I never finished the lengthy paperwork and arranged it this summer, and by fall her speech had improved dramatically. The special education speech people had the speech person at the kindergarten evaluate her and the verdict was I’m right, she’s way better, just borderline now, so let’s check again in January before doing anything. Or definitely doing nothing.
On the other hand, the teacher let me know at the conference that she had noticed Sadie’s gait issue and it was enough to mention. I gave permission to have it looked at and possibly treated with occupational therapy at school. I explained the entire history, having it looked at a few years ago by the orthopedic doctor who ended up handling her broken leg. This was the first her teacher heard of the broken leg! Which is funny, because Sadie’s teacher broke her leg (sprained and chipped – not as serious) early in the school year, and it was extra fascinating to Sadie for reason of her own experience. Anyway, the doctor who evaluated it said she’d outgrow it. And it did improve. I barely notice it now.
Deb was amused that the teacher said Sadie had arrived “with a good foundation,” since we didn’t do much toward that. Not in any planned way. Baby Einstein, plenty of reading to her, learning the alphabet and anything she could absorb. Probably that last is a big part of it. I treat everything as a teaching opportunity, in an eclectic way. The day she was worried about working the zipper in a pair of jeans, going to the bus stop and waiting for the bus was a discussion of the history of the zipper, then the timing and implications of other inventions. I’ve been teaching her multiplication here and there, especially the part where it’s a form of addition. If someone had made clear the additive and subtractive natures of multiplication and division right up front for me, I might have been less intimidated.
Anyway, that’s my girl… quiet yet popular and an excellent student.