Thursday, October 16, 2014

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Last night Oz and I attended our first parent/teacher conferences in three years.

We went to Boo's first.  We walked in and sat down, and the teacher ran through some sheets that each of Boo's teachers had filled out about her behavior and grades and any other notes that they had, and then we got the preliminary report card with all As (any grade changes that happen between now and when they go out on Monday will be minor).  Boo is a good student.  She's happy.  She's a good helper.  She's smart.  She's a good friend.  Etc.  Nothing we didn't already know or suspect about her.

We had also had a call earlier in the evening saying that Boo was officially accepted into the gifted program, so starting next Wednesday she'll get on a bus with all the other gifted/talented kids and go to a different elementary for a special supplemental course.  She may wind up with homework from the class time that she misses, but it won't be ALL the work she misses and she isn't concerned.  She's just pleased to be recognized for her brain… as she should be.

Then we went to Doodlebug's school.  Oz and I were honestly not sure how this conference would go. We assumed we would just be meeting with one teacher, his homeroom teacher, but instead when we sat down, teachers converged from everywhere and we got to meet with 5 out of 6.  That's a number I can live with.

His teachers like him!  They are all impressed with his intelligence and think of him more or less as a walking dictionary - more than one mentioned that when another student needs something they will occasionally refer the student to Doodlebug to get the answer.  They say he's doing all right socially, although one teacher was surprised to discover that Doodlebug and another boy are good friends since they spend class arguing (this is the same friend that got suspended along with Doodlebug, so that information didn't surprise me too much).  He also has straight As, though if he doesn't pay attention in a couple of classes soon, that won't last.

The biggest surprise actually came before the conferences, when Oz and I stepped into the counselor's office.  We went there to get the password to the school website so we can log in and check on Doodlebug's assignments and grades (something we were supposed to have been given months ago but oh well… clearly it hasn't affected things much).  The counselor looked at us and said, "Oh, hey, I was working on his file today."

Well THAT wasn't alarming at all.  #sarcasm.

Apparently one of the teachers had mentioned something about Doodlebug's 504 plan and how Doodlebug was supposed to have one… which he is… but I guess somehow in the shuffle of everything, the plan never got forwarded.  So while he does have one, it isn't on file.  And when the counselor popped around and asked all the teachers what they thought he needed to have on it and whether they even thought he needed one at all, the teachers all said that they couldn't think of a single intervention he could need.  I was surprised but very, very pleased.  So I'm not even sure we'll worry about it at this point; the counselor said it would be an easy thing to get it forwarded and amended whenever - IF ever - it is needed.

I do miss being at home and homeschooling some days - today was one of them, where I would have given just about anything to be at home with my kids instead of at work while they were at a friend's house for Fall Break - but I'm very proud of how well they're doing and how smoothly the transition has gone.  I couldn't have imagined better.

3 comments:

Common Household Mom said...

Wonderful!

I always found it a relief to have a good parent-teacher conference. There was the time when my son was in kindergarten and the teacher criticized him because he did not put his crayons away fast enough, and because "he doesn't know how to blow his nose." It was essentially a criticism of my parenting. I didn't know enough to respond that I didn't think he was in school to learn how to put away crayons quickly, and show me one kindergartner who can blow his nose efficiently.

I hope I am not overstepping and breaching commenter etiquette with what I say next. My son (middle child) and daughter (youngest child) had a difficult time keeping up with the "regular" school work that they missed while at gifted class. Some teachers were not forgiving at all. The worst thing was when my child was completely responsible for getting another child in the class to write down the assignments or collect the work for them. Like another kid wants to do extra work on behalf of my kid! And they were in elementary school, for crying out loud. That was an unfair and inefficient way to do it.

So I am just writing to caution you to pay attention to how the assignments from missed class time are administered.

Wendy L. Callahan said...

Sounds like a great parent-teacher conference to me! It's good to know both Boo and Doodlebug are doing so well. Wishing Boo lots of luck in the gifted program.

Ours are next Monday. And I still miss homeschooling too. :)

Gillian said...

I'm glad to hear that the conferences went well, and that school is going so well for them too! And I', thrilled that Doodlebug's teachers don't think he needs interventions at this point. Congrats to Boo for the gifted program acceptance!