Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Parent and A Teacher and A Conference

In the wake of the last post, I thought I'd let someone else brag about Alex for a while, just to corroborate all of my claims.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Alex's first Parent-Teacher Conference. I know, I was a little freaked out by the idea of going to a parent-teacher conference already, too. Next thing you know, I will be asked to chaperone the preschool mixer, with Juicy Juice in the punch bowl and Elmo rockin' the turntables.

Anyway, I met with one of his teachers, who gave me the low down on his progress. For some reason, it seems like bullet points would be the best way to share the info, as lame as that may be. So here goes:
  • He loves to climb, loves to play with toys and musical instruments, loves to go outside on the playground, and loves to play in the ball room.
  • He eats well, typically finishes most of what I send in his lunch, and sometimes tries to mooch off of other kids or teachers if they have something that looks yummy.
  • He naps well, meaning he goes down without any fuss and sleeps as late or later than most of the other kids. I know this is true because I often have to rouse him from a dead sleep when I pick him up from school at 2 o'clock.
  • He is well-behaved and gets along with the other kids, with the exception of the occasional biting or scratching incident. Although, to be accurate, the teacher didn't actually bring up either of those things. I hadn't heard anything about biting since the first couple of incidents, but he had gotten a comment on his progress sheet one day that said he was aggressive towards other kids and had scratched someone on purpose. I mentioned this to his teacher, who had apparently forgotten about it, as well as his previous offenses. She said that he hasn't bitten anyone since those first few times, and that the scratching situation was a non-issue, one of those random things that happens when two kids want to play with the same toy. It seems that those types of things are more traumatic for the parents than the teachers. Or maybe I'm just bummed that I can no longer display a "My child beat up your Honor Student" bumper sticker in good conscience.
  • He does very well in a group-oriented learning environment, during things like art time, story time, and music time. He really enjoys the art projects and follows directions well. He sits quietly on the floor and listens intently during story time, and he participates eagerly in the group activities. While all the kids seem to enjoy music time, Alex is one of the few kids who always claps and grooves when a song comes on. He especially likes songs that involve specific movements, things like "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes", and "The Itsy Bitsy Spider", and he tries hard to keep up with the gestures.
  • His speech is consistently improving, although it is hard to compare his progress to the other kids because he is several months younger than most (maybe all) of the kids in class. Most of his classmates are close to two, if not two already, so many of them have two-year-old vocabularies. In my opinion, the fact that Alex is surrounded by older kids has had a positive impact on his development - kind of like peer pressure, but in a good way.
The teacher concluded the meeting by saying that Alex was such a pleasure to have in class, and that it was so nice to have a student who was genuinely happy to be there. She said that, while she can assume a kid is content if he/she is not crying or is not visibly upset, with Alex, it's just obvious. There is never any doubt that he is having a good time because he just exudes happiness. And while it's nice to hear that your kid is smart, that he's well-behaved, or that he naps well, I think being told that your child "exudes happiness" is about the best thing a parent could hear from a teacher. Actually, something like, "Alex is testing at genius levels in all academic disciplines, plus he's got a really incredible jump-shot" would probably be better. But "exudes happiness" is definitely a close second.

1 comment:

leah said...

She should have just saved all the blah blah blah and said "Mrs. Evans your child is a genius & the best kid EVER!!" Because, that is exactly what he is!!

& yes, preschool rocks bc it does help develop all kinds of great skills!!!