Saturday, January 30, 2010

On the other side of a Parent-Teacher Conference

I have been a high school teacher for many years and I have conducted MANY parent-teacher conferences. Last week I ate lunch with Diego at preschool and afterwards had a parent-teacher conference with his preschool teacher. I have to admit that it felt strange to have someone else tell me about my son since I feel that I know him better than anyone else. Diego's teacher described him as very intelligent and independent. I would definitely agree to both of those. He turned four in December and they wanted to move him out of the three year old classroom into the four year old classroom. Academically, he is very advanced for his age and he has already mastered all of the three year old skills and they think that he needs more of a challenge. After talking it over with my husband, we agreed. The only complaint that the teacher had about Diego's behavior at school was that he can be stubborn and likes to do things his way or not at all if does not want to do it. I have this issue with Diego at home also and it can be very frustrating but it is also one of his best qualities. He is very much a color-the-tree- yellow or do-it-upside-down kind of guy. He has an amazing creative and imaginative mind and this often comes off as being uncooperative. For example, after lunch that day the teacher passed out chunks of play-doh to each of the kids. The teacher announced that they were going to make dolls out of the play-doh and each child should start by making a ball for the head. Diego completely ignored the teacher and got busy separating the play-doh into several pieces and molding them into little creatures. The teacher walking over to him to try to get him back with the rest of the group but stopped herself, laughed, and said that she didn't know what he was making but it was WAY neater than what she had in mind. I very much appreciated that she did not stop him and allowed him to be creative. I do see the value of learning to following directions but I love his creativity and his ability to think outside of the box and do not want that discouraged.

3 comments:

  1. sounds like a great conference! even the "negatives" were really positives! i just had a conference with my son's teacher, too and she did admit it was strange to be saying all this stuff to a teacher, albeit a former one!

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  2. It sounds like a great preschool that is really able to see that Diego needs more challenge and act on this knowledge. Anna is a lot like this too - she won't do something that she doesn't like, and she marches to her own drummer. Fortunately, her preschool is able to accommodate her independence as well - usually by letting her sit in the corner and read books during the activity that she is not interested in.

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  3. What an amazing preschool. That would be weird to be on the other side of that conference.

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