Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Parent Teacher Conference

We had our first parent teacher conference with Laci's teacher last week. I'm sure after awhile, it will become old hat but I was looking forward to this first one. I was curious to hear how Laci was doing, especially since we were concerned about her going to school young. I was also concerned about how she interacted with friends. Laci has commented that no one will play with her and she doesn't have any friends. It is hard to hear her say that but without being there, I didn't know what the situation was. In a nut shell, the conference went like this: Laci talks too much when she is not supposed to and doesn't talk enough when she is supposed to.
Her teacher started by saying how bright she is. Smart teacher - flattery goes far with me. She is at the reading level expected at the end of the year. Her math skills aren't quite as high as her reading but she is still doing well. She writes very well.  But she is a little more immature than the other kids. That was hard for me to hear. I think my child is perfect - but I am a bit bias. Laci's biggest issue is that she craves and demands attention. At her daycare, she was always able to get it from the teachers there. But with a large class and one teacher, they can't do that with each student. I was not surprised by that comment because I had the same concern. It took her teacher several weeks to get Laci to calm down a little bit in that regard. Laci is a "teacher's pet" and loves answering questions. But way too much. Her teacher has been working with her to not get upset for not being called on and for not shouting out answers. We have also talked to her a lot about the importance of letting other kids answer questions too.
Unfortunately, Laci's comments about friends were right. Laci is having trouble adjusting with the other kids. She would rather stand with her teacher at recess than play with the other kids. Every day I ask her who she plays with and if she says nobody, I remind her to go up to the other girls and ask to play with them. If they say no, she needs to try with another group. It's very hard to hear your child struggle but I know that this is part of life and I can't help her through it. I need to let her work it out. She mentions playing with the boys and even her teacher said that the boys are more open to let her play with them. We have even added watching Ninjago and Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles into our tv watching rotation. Sometimes I think she is "studying" to play with the boys at school. She has even asked for Batman and Hotwheels race tracks for Christmas. I have no problem with her playing with the boys stuff but I hope that it is because she genuinely enjoys it and not because she is just trying to fit in.
Laci also talks about the kids at her before and after school program a lot. I am not sure how well she is received there. I hope she is fitting in well there. She seems to be. It is a smaller group and more social time. There are only a few kindergartens in the program and Laci has always liked older kids more than kids her own age.
All and all, it was a good conference.   We left the kids at home with the neighbor babysitting. I figured Calvin would be hard to contain at the conference and it was easier to leave them at home. Even though Laci had been so excited for the neighbor to come over, she cried when we left. A few minutes after we left, Calvin started crying and didn't stop for an hour until we were almost home. I felt bad for the sitter. I asked Laci if she calmed down quickly and she said yes because Calvin was crying and she didn't want it to be too hard on the sitter. I thought that was oddly thoughtful. We don't use a sitter often so we try to pay well so hopefully she will still come back to sit for us. :)

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