Parent-Teacher Interviews

The teachers at our sons’ school are breathing a collective sigh of relief this week. Report cards came home last week, and parents were invited to the annual parent/teacher interview. Actually, the parent/teacher interview of yesteryear is now a parent/teacher/child conference, so last Thursday Teddy and I found ourselves sitting face-to-face with his smiling teacher.

I had no real reason to be nervous, as we’ve never had any indications from her that he is having trouble in the classroom. He seems to be mastering the second grade as well as he did the first. “Teddy’s doing very well,” she assured me. “He’s right where he should be for grade 2.” She showed me some samples of his work and, as I have come to expect, had many positive things to say about our son.

In due course she addressed some of the problems that were creeping up, primarily surrounding the issue of concentration. No surprise there. If you send this kid into his room to put on his PJ’s in the evening he will inevitably become distracted by a picture book lying on the nightstand and that’s where you’ll find him ten minutes later: sitting on the bed with his pants around his ankles, looking at a book. Evidently he is aware of the problem too though, because on his “Student Self-Reflection” (which each student had completed in preparation for the interview) he circled the “I-could-be-doing-this-better” option when asked about staying on task and doing his work.

The teacher showed us samples of his written work and commented that he was a good speller. (YES!) Apparently he’s also a prolific writer, having recently written the longest story in the class about his favourite topic: a visit to Camp Crossroads.

For about 5 years earlier in our marriage Oliver and I would go up to Camp every winter to cook for our church’s youth group at their retreat. Being the oldest, Teddy accompanied us most often, and has very fond memories of these times. His favourite memory is probably working in the industrial kitchen, stacking the myriad empty plastic milk pitchers. His Camp memories are so vivid and so sweet, that this year he has asked that the family go to Camp Crossroads for the weekend of his birthday. This suits us just fine, because it saves us from having to plan a children’s birthday party.

Teddy has been writing about his Camp memories in his free-write book at school, and his teacher informed us that after six pages of writing she had finally asked him to conclude the story and begin a new one. Day after day he would tirelessly write about Camp Crossroads, she said.

This morning I looked at Teddy’s comments on the back of the aforementioned Self-Reflection. Question 1 asked: “What is your favourite part about school?” His answer: gym (of course). Question 2: What is difficult for you? His answer: to concentrate (very insightful) Question 3: What else do you want your teacher to know? Answer: I want her to know what I did at camp kros roads.

Well kid, judging by what we’ve just learned at your parent/teacher interview, I’d say you’ve been successful. Congratulations!

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