Our first parent-teacher interview

Yesterday I posted about the impact that a strike could have on our family - particularly with Brandon’s need for consistency - if current talks with the union representatives don’t lead to resolution and acceptable compromise for both sides. Again, I don’t have a concept of what’s being asked and I refuse to put any teacher or school staff person into a box with a label - good or bad. My employment details aren’t out there for public consumption and I refuse to use any label on a situation that I’m not experiencing first-hand.

What I know is that we have a teacher who genuinely cares about our son. She is the quintessential kindergarten teacher - incredibly smart, creative, energetic, attuned to the needs and readiness of all of the children to receive what she has to offer. 

We had our very first parent-teacher interview tonight and Brandon’s teacher proved she’s worth her weight in gold first by scheduling us last in the day, knowing there would be a need for extra time. Interviews were booked in 20 minute increments. She spent twice that amount of time with us. 

She focused on the positive, showing us example after example of progress Brandon has made and how he’s growing in his interactions with his peers. It’s wonderful to hear that the other children are understanding - and even supportive - of his special needs. 

I remember years ago that my mom told me that my kindergarten teacher was not one of her favorite teachers of mine. This is significant as they were not only in a parent-student relationship, but they were colleagues since I attended the school where my mother taught. I feel quite certain that my mom would not only like, but genuinely respect Brandon’s teacher. 

I know I do.

It’s fairly surreal to have a child who is attending school. I’m just so very glad that it’s going so well. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I couldn’t have asked for a better group to entrust my son’s education and well-being to. 

So...apparently I lied to Brandon's teacher this week

Brandon’s junior kindergarten teacher is wonderful. She’s a lovely young woman with so much energy and compassion for children. I couldn’t be happier with the lottery that landed us in her class. She’s made so much extra effort with Brandon since before school even started. From visiting him at daycare to calling and spending nearly an hour on the phone with me to discuss his situation. She’s called almost every week since school started to talk about how things are going or give us updates on one thing or another. 

She’s exactly the kind of teacher I hoped for Brandon to get. If he has teachers like this woman every year, we will have a stellar school experience. Brandon’s principle is wonderful too. I feel like we’re all on Team Brandon - doing everything we can to help him succeed. 

So, of course, I lied to a key team member this week.

Brandon’s teacher called to tell me how well his day went after we made a change that we all anticipated would lead to some difficulty. When she called, she mentioned a book that Brandon’s been reading for a couple of weeks, introduced to him by his daycare teachers. The book? Mortimer by Robert Munsch.

I never read Robert Munsch growing up, so if you’re like me, here’s the man himself reading Mortimer:

It’s a cute book - even cuter if you’re looking at the pictures.

Why did this come up? Because B’s teacher wondered if the yelling Brandon has been doing (sometimes) is mimicking the book. I assured her that he isn’t really known for doing that. He’ll often quote books (at odd, completely out of context times), but I said it’s unusual for him to start acting them out or even copying behaviours in the books that are negative.

I found A Bunch of Munsch on Netflix last weekend and Brandon has started requesting to watch them regularly. (People, the show has trumped Thomas - this is big news.) It’s so weird, though. I can see why it appeals to kids, but as an adult seeing it for the first time I’m finding it hard to enjoy. It bugs me that the stories diverge so far from the books, too. Sure, the basic nuts and bolts are there, but there’s so much filler that makes me wonder what the writers were on when they dreamed it up.

One of the books that Brandon has been drawn to is The Boy in the Drawer. I think this one has an actual lesson in it for kids, but it’s so vague I would be truly impressed at the child who can verbalize it without help. Mind you, I could be reading something into something that isn’t there. Here’s the cartoon version - embellishments at all:

If I have to have that song in my head, you do too. :-p

Now, I know you’re wondering about this lie I’ve mentioned. I didn’t know I lied until yesterday afternoon when Brandon came running into my room and said there was a tiger in his sock drawer. Shockingly, I did not make the connection at first. I told Brandon we better go investigate. We crept into his room ever so quietly to keep from rousing the tiger. I slowly opened the drawer and screamed!!!

How did a tiger get in his sock drawer?! And he’s reading a book!

Hmmm…just like The Boy in the Drawer (click that link to listen to Munsch reading the book).

Today, Brandon ran over to tell me that the tiger threw his socks all over his room. I thought this was a brilliant opportunity to get him to pick up his mess since he was clearly play-acting out the book. However, unlike Shelly who did what her mother told her to do, Brandon doesn’t like to clean up messes regardless of who makes them.

I think next week, I’ll have to let his daycare know that they need to find some books that encourage tidiness and stop reading the ones that are so messy. ;)

Ultimately, I couldn’t be happier with this development. More and more I see Brandon using his imagination and books are such a huge part of it. I always wanted him to love reading and he does. I couldn’t be happier about it.

I should probably let Brandon’s teacher know that I lied to her now.