Friday, February 21, 2014

Our 1st grader

Almost 2 weeks ago, Brian & I attended Thomas' parent/teacher conference and had an opportunity to hear how he is doing academically & socially in 1st grade this year.  Mind you, I communicate regularly with his teacher about performance, expectations, behavior, & social interactions with him & his peers.  I was completely prepared to hear what she had to say, and was not anticipating any real surprises.  But, what she had to show us & tell us about our little 1st grader did give me reason to pause a few times.  Let's review:
  • In the days leading up to the parent/teacher conference, she asked each student to fill out their own "Student Self Reflection" as to way gage their own progress this semester.  Thomas' is pictured above.  At first glance, one might think that he doesn't do a very good job on following school & class rules, working with others, and completing his homework.  But, knowing Thomas both in the classroom and at home, you would realize he is quite good at all 3 of those things.  We're going to chalk this Self-Reflection report up to him being quite critical of himself.  It appears he is his own worst critic.
  • We heard that he is a wonderful friend to his classmates, helpful in many ways to both the teacher & his friends, as well as very responsible & respectful.  His behavior is essentially not ever a concern.  Well, other than this one time that he got called to the Principal's office for what happened on the bus.  I'll save that story for his wedding day.
  • His teacher also confirmed to us that he is an excellent & advanced reader.  She continues to challenge him in class and on his homework with higher-level readings that are still high interest to him.
  • We also were told he is an exceptional mathematician - adding & subtracting (even with double & triple digits) are done with ease.
  • The news that did catch me off guard is that she thinks Thomas should be tested for Gifted & Talented.  Not only with his assessments continually scoring in the "well-above average" range, she is convinced that how he uses logical reasoning for so many of his justifications is another "gifted" sign.  I'm truly not sure how I feel about this, but what I do know is Brian and I both want him to continue to love learning & so we will always encourage, challenge and motivate him so that flame never fades.

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