Monday, December 6, 2010

Parent Teacher Conference

A few weeks ago, before Thanksgiving Mom and I had our first parent teacher conference. This conference was with one of Alyce's teachers Ms. Mary. Alyce's other teacher is Ms. Kit.

This being our first parent teacher conference we didn't know what to expect. Maybe she was going to tell us that Alyce's coloring skills are sub par and we can cross Harvard off the list of possible schools. It turned out to be nothing like that. Ms. Mary talked to us about what they were doing in class and Alyce's level of development. We are happy to say that Alyce has mastered all aspects of physical development for a kid her age. Other skills like penmanship and coloring are also age appropriate.

Ms. Mary, Mom, and Myself went on in length talking about how Alyce likes to do jobs in the class. Every day in class the teacher pulls out a name and assigns a student to specific job like the line leader, caboose, cleanup inspector, and song picker. Ms. Mary was telling us that getting jobs is Alyce's very favorite part of class. She went on to say that she gets so gigged up for a job that she is crestfallen whenever her name isn't picked. I applaud Alyce's willingness to help out. When we ask Alyce after school what her job was that day and she didn't have one she says that she "had the day off".  The picture below is a scan of the inspection report submitted by Alyce to the rest of the class.

There was one area that Alyce is exhibiting some problems, speech development. Ms. Mary said that Alyce's speech development was not where it should be. She described Alyce as knowing what she wanted to say but would dance around the word she was trying to get out. Sadly I knew exactly what she was talking about as both my mother and I suffer from the same problem. Whenever we are in a stressed environment our minds lock up and we know the word we want to say but just can't seem to get it out. Another aspect of her speech problems is that her speech is very melodic. I'm not sure why melodic speech is a bad thing. Perhaps it is warning sign relating to other issues. We have a follow up visit with the special school department that should be able to determine whether this is a problem or if she is behind the curve. The overall effect of Alyce have decreased speech ability is that she isn't keeping up with the other kids in her class and is still playing by herself. I've these behavior occur on repeated occasions. After I drop her off some mornings I look at Alyce through the window to see what she does when I'm not around. A few times I've witnessed her standing there, watching the other kids, and waiting for something to spur her into action. After a minute or so she seems to have taken everything in, decides on a course of action, and joins in an activity.  It pains me to see her standing on the sidelines but it doesn't seem to bother her as she is always looking forward to going to school.

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