Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Last week was the first parent-teacher conference I've ever attended.  You remember: the ones most of my friends were terrified of when we were kids, but I secretly looked forward to.  I liked school, and rather took to it, at least in the early years.  And my (perhaps obnoxiously) confident self enjoyed knowing my accomplishments were being discussed at that precise minute.

Anyway, this one was for the Bug's Junior-K class.  And truth be told, I was a little nervous.  I mean, you know your kid is awesome.  But what if there's something concerning about her tendency to wear fifteen hair clips every day?  Or if her teachers worry that a dress and tights and other weather-inappropriate clothing might indicate larger problems at home.  [N.b., She dresses herself!]  Or if her lunches aren't sufficiently healthy or sustainably-farmed or whatever?  Or if I send the worst snacks of any class mom?

First off, I can't praise highly enough the professionalism of the staff at her school.  Her teachers had prepared a written report that detailed the good - and the bad - of her academics and social progress since the beginning of the school year.  And we spend a good deal of time discussing, and formulating an action plan for, the one issue they've identified. 

In a nutshell, the Bug is nervous around grown-ups.  She freezes, forgets her lovely manners, and it comes off as disrespectful, which none of us think is OK.  Lucky for her, she's still just four.  We've got time.  And even luckier, she's got a whole team who loves her and wants to help her through it - Joker and me, her teachers and the staff at her school, her grandparents and great-grands and aunts/uncles/cousins, even her friends' parents and Joker and my friends.  So she'll be great.  And it's lovely to know that the school believes this is an important social skill for her to have and to cultivate.

On the positive side, her friendships with the kids at school are at or ahead of where the teachers would expect after a cross-country move.  And perhaps less surprising to those of us around her, her academics are at the top of her class.  So kindergarten next year is all systems go, and her teachers only want to ensure she isn't bored when she gets there.

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