Friday, October 30, 2009

What EXACTLY does this mean?

So I went to Parent/Teacher conference at Adam's school yesterday. It wasn't one of those times where I was nervous about what I was going to hear. I volunteer in Adam's class which means that I talk to his teacher regularly and I'm pretty sure that if there was a problem I would know about it. I consider myself to be pretty aware and involved with the things that are going on with my boys (this is me patting myself on the back for my excellent parenting skills). This conference was really just one of those things that good parents do, and since we are good parents, we headed to the school.

After waiting for our turn for longer than we expected, Phil finally had to leave because he was going to be late for another meeting. I assured him that it was fine . . . this really isn't a big deal . . . you can go and I'll report back. So he left me sitting there with Adam, still waiting for our turn. Adam noticed another little boy pick a prize out of a basket that was sitting next to his teacher. He got excited and wondered out loud if he would get a prize too. He told me that if he got a good report he would get a prize. That's how it works I guess. Adam sat there the rest of the time completely preoccupied with the prize box. I didn't mind because it kept him in his seat, relatively quiet.

Then it was finally our turn. We confidently stepped up to the table and proceeded with the obligatory parent/teacher interaction. His teacher is very nice and Adam likes her a lot. I like
her too and she seems to be a good fit for Adam. As expected, she told me that Adam is doing really well academically. He loves math and is doing great there. No concerns at all. He loves reading and is doing great, but he needs to work a little bit on his comprehension. Adam has always been a really good reader, as far as getting the words, but he needs to work on paying attention to what he is reading. She told me that the whole class is working on that. It's a pretty standard thing for third graders. Okay. No surprise there. No worries with spelling. He is doing better with his writing, but I'm very aware that it's probably his least favorite thing in school because it takes too much time. Adam does better when he can just cruise through things, e.g math and reading. Writing requires more thought and patience; two things that he doesn't necessarily have in great abundance. His teacher told me that he's learning to formulate his ideas better and she is pleased with his recent work. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that.

Then I threw out the questions that I was pretty sure I already knew the answers to. But again, I'm a good mom so I have to play along and ask the right questions to show that I am a concerned and plugged-in parent:

Me: How is his behavior?
Mrs. A: Things are pretty good. He's doing sooooo much better.
Me: Umm . . . what do you mean?
Mrs. A: He's definitely improved since school started. I've for sure seen a big difference over the past little while.
Me: Oh. (I'm suddenly feeling a little more cautious.) How's he doing with the other kids?
Mrs. A: Soooo much better.
Me: Oh. That's good.

So here's what I'm thinking at this point: Adam's not just doing better. He's doing soooooo much better. Doesn't that mean that he was doing some crazy things before? So, he has greatly improved which should make me feel good, but I can't help but wonder what in the heck was going on before he decided to turn a corner. I looked at Adam with my eyebrows raised, and he
just smiled back at me. Even though she told me that he was doing better, I think he knew that he was busted.

We finished with a few other things and then Adam and I got up to leave. He glanced at the prize box and his teacher nodded at him to let him know he was okay to dig in. Adam normally takes for-ev-er to pick a prize so I was happy to see him grab something with no hesitation at all. We started to walk away and he reached back and quickly grabbed something else. I was still a little confused by some of the things she had told me, but being the conscientious mom that I am, I smiled down at him and said that he can only have one thing and that he needed to put one of the prizes back. Before he could respond, his teacher said "Oh, those are his. They are things that I've confiscated and told him that he couldn't have back until you came in with him." Nice. Clearly the student-of-the-month award has drifted far beyond his grasp, right along with my parent of the month award (which doesn't really exist, but I dream about it anyway). On the bright side, he's completely okay with never being a student-of-the-month type of kid. Just this morning when I told him that he needed to pick a different shirt to wear he told me that he didn't care if he looked like an idiot. In fact, he said that he likes to look like an idiot. Those were his words.

At least I can take solace in knowing that he's smart, even though he's apparently determined to never let anybody know it.


Phil (the dad) said...

He's going to be fine- just relax, he's going to be fine.

Nathan said...

As a kid who worries entirely too much about irrelevant things, it must be liberating not to care about what shirt you wear.

Do you think Adam could teach a class sometime? :)

Carrie said...

I have a feeling, my conversations with teachers about Micah, will sound just like this one. :)

Renae said...

He IS fine! If he were perfect in everything at school, kids would just beat him up!