Do you ever walk into parent teacher conference wondering why you’re there? Seems like just yesterday my mom was meeting with crazy Mr Wilcox, or possibly even crazier Terry Hill (and let’s not even go to Mr Stumphy… that guy was a piece of work). I must say I remember being worried as a kid what my teachers were going to say (my mom always told me that if anything negative was going to come out of that teacher’s mouth, she wanted to hear it from me first)… but I think I’m more nervous now.
Conner’s conference was great. We LOVE his teacher. He’s so organized, and funny, and a dream of a teacher. Conner loves him, and I now know why every child I’ve ever asked who they want for 5th grade says “Mr. M”. Conner needs to work on fine details. In his reading, his writing, in organization. We have a serious issue with shoe tying. It’s awful. I instigated shoe-tying practice about a year ago and I felt like it fixed things but then I bought him some crocs for the summer and I feel like he took a giant leap backwards. I’m back to shoe tying practice, and the crocs are in the garage til’ he can properly be a human. Anyway, it’s just a micro chasm of the larger picture of fine details.
Spencer’s was good. However, I had the same problem when Conner was in Kindergarten. With Conner’s subsequent conferences we’ve always come away with a lot of things to focus on and to work on. Spencer has one thing to work on, using a quieter voice. She hadn’t tested his reading and I’m not sure she knew he knows how to read…. I was just frustrated. He is doing amazing, but I guess in K there are SO many things that most of the kids need to really work on, that when you have a kid who already has most of the K skill set, you’re just happy. Anyway, I do need to figure out what to have him read. He’s moved on to chapter books, and while Captain Underpants is quite a literary offering I’m not sure I want to start him on that path yet. I also worry that by Conner reading so well, so early that he became fine with reading words that he didn’t understand. Spencer and I are spending more time reading together (he reads a page, and I read a page) and asking questions. I hope that helps.
All in all, I think parent teacher conferences (although, Conner was included in his “conference” have gotten much easier. It seems like intimidating and not that they’re just telling you what your child is doing wrong — it’s figuring out ways to fix all the problems.
On a funny note, we were talking about how Conner sometimes has difficulties putting meaning into his stories and pulling it from reading. His teacher said that perhaps it’s because he hasn’t actually lived through many tough things yet. His parents are together, we’ve lived here most of his life… I told Conner we needed to make him suffer a little more, he just rolled his eyes. I do wonder if I’m raising kids who think life is a candyland (not literally — but just that their lives are awfully easy) and that they don’t realize how much suffering is out there. We have actually talked a little bit about divorce from the whole Jon and Kate mess and how hard it would be to have parents who made those choices. Maybe we can make him suffer by proxy.