Sunday, October 11, 2015

Open House

Thursday night was Jacob's open house at school.  I'd been eagerly anticipating it, even though I generally don't enjoy the chaos, because I wanted to get a better read on his teacher.  She seemed nice enough at the supply drop-off day in September, but once Jacob came home and started complaining about her, I got a little concerned.  I mean, he had the world's most perfect teacher (for him) last year, so anyone would be not as great in his opinion, but was it just him being extra sensitive or was she really that tough?  I do think that if his teacher last year had a flaw, it might be that she didn't push enough.  Jacob did fine, but we honestly didn't have any special projects or anything that would have challenged his comfort zone a bit.  Not that I'm complaining, since parents usually end up having to track down materials and push the kids along and all that, but my fear is that he'll run into something bigger in second grade and not know how to react.  Maybe he missed a first-grade-sized stepping stone and now he's got to surmount a second-grade-sized one with no prior preparation, you know?  So maybe this new teacher is willing to push, and maybe he just isn't used to it.

Unfortunately, Craig couldn't come because he had a work-related commitment at the same time, so it was just me and the boys.  And in a chaotic school full of parents and kids and siblings wandering around, it gets a little challenging.  We made our way to Jacob's room to check things out, and he was immediately distracted by his friends.  I tried to use the guide the teacher provided to see certain things, but Jacob kept brushing me off and insisting we walk somewhere else or go meet his friends.  First they were supposedly going to the gym, so he dragged me all the way over there (read: he ran out of the room and I had to follow him), only to see that the gym wasn't even open for open house.  It never is, actually.  Then we almost went back to his room, but he wanted to go to the music room where a couple of his friends were.  Then we walked around the whole school for no reason (though I suspect he wanted to go by his old classroom) and I finally threatened that we wouldn't be getting ice cream (annual post-open house sale put on by the PTA) unless he took me back and showed me more.

I got to see his self-portrait sitting at his desk:

I thought he did well, aside from the angry eyebrows.  He even made sure to include the gummy gap on one side of his smile!

Of course, as we wandered around, Carter wanted to check out everything, including a random pair of kid scissors and the metal, wall-mounted pencil sharpener.  Ugh.  I saw some of Jacob's writing and different important parts of the room.  I talked to his teacher a bit, and she seems nice.  I guess I can see how she might have a strict side, but I don't get a bad vibe from her.  She didn't say much about Jacob specifically--though she did mention that he has a lot of friends!--but she did think Carter was pretty cute.

Back out in the hall I saw a couple of his creations:

So how did I know it was Jacob's?  Hmmmm....He is good at lacrosse, if he had a million dollars he would own a lacrosse team, he wants to be a lacrosse player, and he wishes he had an arena. 

This is a little harder to see, but I'm sure we don't win any parenting awards for our seven-year-old calling Kiss their favorite band.  Darn you, Scooby-Doo and your stupid special feature with Kiss...

And he did show me how a picture he and his friend drew (on four connected pieces of paper) was hung up in the library.  He definitely likes to draw.  His writing is getting better, too, and I can only hope this creativity gets channeled into something great.  He's so smart and can definitely do his work, but sometimes the motivation to buckle down and do it is so hard to find.

I got the kids each an ice cream outside--popsicle for Jacob and skippy cup for Carter--and they ate them even though it was getting pretty chilly outside.  I had considered taking them out to dinner, but between Jacob's half day with Daddy today and my working all day tomorrow, I figured they might get enough of that then.  So we went home and had breakfast for dinner instead.  Never an argument there!

So...the school year goes on.  We will see how the year progresses.  Jacob is well on his way to reaching his reading goal (he's only a few letter books away right now) and math review has been going fine.  Now some of the tougher, new stuff starts, and new things have never been his strong suit.  It would help if he would tell us what's going on a little more, but right now we just have to rely on the color he ended up on for the day and the worksheets that come home in his bag.  I guess I take comfort in the fact that we've made it through a month without incident, but we have a lot of time to go.  Now starts the countdown to our parent-teacher conference in early December...

No comments: