Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Parent teacher interviews

Every now and then I come across something that is like a huge red flashing light reminder that I am a parent. I know, it shouldn't surprise me any more. But sometimes it's hard to remember that I am the grown up here. Parent teacher interviews are one such event.

First of all, I have to say how much I am loving my boys' school. There are some definite disadvantage to being in such a small school (less than 100 kids, and only 5 classes) but the positives outweigh the negatives every time. One of my favourite things about the school is that everyone knows everyone. All the teachers and administrators know my boys, and can talk easily about them. It is really a small community feel. Last week when I called to set up my interviews, I had Colin's report card in hand and so asked the secretary to slot me in at 7:30 with his teacher. Then, just as I was about to hang up, she interrupted me with "And would you like to see Caleb's teacher also?" I laughed at my forgetfulness, and said, yes please. And I smiled at the fact that even just over the phone the secretary knew me, knew Colin, and knew that Caleb was his brother.

And so last night was the interviews. Both boys' report cards were nothing of a surprise. Both are working at their grade level, completing their work, progressing well. Both need to work a little on improving their French, which is understandable considering we don't speak French generally at home. Really, the interview was just about keeping in touch with the teacher, and about hearing them speak about my kids in specifics.

Colin's interview left me soaring. Colin is a really, really smart kid. He hears, learns, understands and applies things so quickly and knows things way beyond his grade level. But I have been worried that with the newness of the French language, the teacher might not see his potential. I have thought often about pulling him out and putting him in English where he might be able to work at his own level, but I usually come to the conclusion that the English might hold him back even further, if the teacher is not amenable to creating his own curriculum for him.

At any rate, the first comment Colin's teacher had was "Colin is brilliant. No, he's actually brilliant. And I'm not just saying this for you, to puff you or him up." I sighed a huge sigh of relief and then we spoke at length about how the French language can work as a challenge for him. She said that while Colin may be at the low end of the class in terms of French, he is miles ahead of anyone in terms of knowledge and understanding. She said that even with the language barrier, his abilities are obvious.

Caleb's interview was a lot of fun, because Caleb is such a fun personality. His teacher remarked that everyone loves Caleb, and he has friends all throughout the school. He is stubborn, though, and only produces the kind of work he is capable of when he feels like it. We compared notes of what he does at school and what he does at home (in terms of speaking French) and there are so many inconsistencies (things he does at school but won't at home, and vice versa) that we both realized he's capable of much more than either of us thought. But he's the youngest in his class, so both his teacher and I are granting him some leniency right now. His teacher did say that he's very advanced in math, which I didn't realize. As I noted in my previous entry, Colin is also good at math, and both James and I were good at math also, so I guess we shouldn't be completely surprised. Sometimes I think Colin and Caleb are so different that I surprised to find similarities between them!

And so, another school year well on its way. I really like both the boys' teachers this year, and I think they are doing really well. Hopefully things continue on in a like manner!

No comments: