Thursday, November 17, 2011

Shameless BRAGGING

On Friday we had Lilian's first parent/teacher conference.  This is her first year of pre-school... and so our first conference.  To be honest, i wasn't all that nervous. I feel like at drop-off and pick-up you can get a good sense of the teacher's feelings about the child, and that i wouldn't be in for any surprises.
The general consensus and the first thing her teacher said was, "we love Lily."  They gave us a checklist type sheet and she had "yes" and smiley faces and even a few "yes!!!!" down the lines. (Except for a few n/a for things they weren't expected to be doing or didn't learn yet, like scissors, tying shoes, reading, etc.)  She can count to 10 always, to 20 most of the time.  She can recognize most letters, and definitely all the ones they've learned (they "study" one letter a week), she knows the words and melodies to all the songs they sing, speaks in full sentences (this is one of the "yes!!!!!" ones), she follows directions, completes all her art projects the way she should, etc.  A significant amount of the class is in diapers (at least 50% it seems, this is a new pre-school, details later, but for now, all ages are combined), but she's the only potty trained one to use the bathroom unassisted (which she does NOT do at home for me, that little sneak).  She puts her own jacket on at playtime just needs help starting the zipper.  The teacher told us she was extremely intelligent.  I asked how she compared to the rest of the class, and she said well if they're "here" (and she held her hand up to her chest) than Lily is "heeeeeere" and made a soaring motion over her head.  Several times during the talk, she complimented our parenting and said she could tell we were excellent moms.  Whereas i totally agree, LOL, it's awesome to hear it from someone who only knows Lily, not us.
She said that Lily is extremely creative, that she can keep them entertained by telling them stories about what's going on, what her toys are doing, what's going on in pictures, etc.  She has an extremely vivid imagination and she is often lost in thought.  Ive had concerns about her attention span because she won't draw/color.  She'll hold a crayon for about 20 seconds and scribble before she gets bored or requests that the adults draw her fantasy pictures for her (which often involve horses, reindeer, farms, daddy riding horses, or daddy Batman riding a horse).  The teacher said that was totally normal at this age, that what is in her head doesnt come out on the paper, so she just doesnt bother.  She does, though, enjoy crafts like gluing, painting, collage, etc.  I guess where the final result is more obvious/pre-determined.  She has a little bit of a perfectionist streak in her.  So do all 3 of her parents.  :)
She said that she used to cry if she didn't like something (a kid taking her toy, pushing her, etc.) but she has been taught to tell them "i dont like that" and if after a few times, it's not effective, she tells the teacher "Michael took my toy and won't give it back" and the teacher responds with "let's go ask him again" and Lily has to tell him again with the teacher backing her up.  The teacher said she believes in kids learning to be independant and standing up for themselves in that way.  She no longer cries and can handle these issues on her own.
They say she's funny.  She tells jokes and she loves to laugh.  She's also very dramatic: ocasionally taking a bow when praised or saying "ta daaaaa" when completing something.
Unsurprisingly to me, we were told that she almost exclusively plays with the boys.  The girls can be more timid when it comes to the playground, etc. but Lily is mostly fearless and can keep up with the boys.  Inside, she prefers to play with the animals/barn, cars, train set, dinosaurs, puzzles and books etc and has little to no interest in the dolls, dress up stuff or play kitchen, so again, she ends up mostly playing with (or beside) the little boys.  When i pick her up, i've never seen her with a girl, only with little boys.  She's not a tomboy, she loves pink and sparkly and ponies and perfume - but somehow, it makes sense just based on her interests.  When we arrive or leave everyday, she has at least one little boy waving hello/goodbye to her and calling out hi/bye Lily!
The most important thing to hear though, is that she's extremely compassionate & sweet.  I see this in her at home too, but that she displays this in public is one of the greatest things a mom can hear.  If she sees two other kids not getting along, she'll tell the teacher "Brian took Billy's toy and won't give it back".  I laughed and said "so she's a tattle tale." And the teacher assured me it wasn't.  She wasn't intending to get anyone in trouble, she just wanted to get backup for the sad kid without his toy.  She'll often inform them that a kid needs help. And she is likely to be helping someone do a puzzle correctly (she LOVES puzzles and is extremely awesome at them.)  I pray that this doesnt turn into a busybody tendancy, but for now it's extremely sweet.  When i dropped her off the other day, one little boy was crying on the rug (in a corner marked "dramatic play" which made it hilarious), and when we came in the classroom, she dropped her backpack, ran over and crouched over him and was asking "are you ok? What's wrong?" She didnt even bother saying goodbye to me.  That was one of those moments in life where i knew i was doing something right.
When she first started school, she was extremely shy.  For almost 2 weeks, she barely spoke and kinda kept to herself.  The teachers didnt even know she COULD talk and soon she was telling them stories.  And such a short time later, she's the most advanced kid in the class that has all the teacher's laughing.  She's popular amongst the other kids and comes home "teaching" me things.  She really came out of her shell, and that's probably the best thing she's gotten out of school.
I prompted the teacher to tell me the bad stuff... the criticisms and the could-be-improved stuff... and she swore there weren't any.  She said she had to tell some other parents to stop babying their kids - that at age 3, they needed some independence and to be spoken to like a child, not a baby.  She said that Lilian can be spoken to like an adult, she can be reasoned with, and never has to be asked twice to do something.  I told her Lily can be stubborn at home and has her bratty moments, and she said that part of her doesnt exist at school.  (Awesome, she saves it all for me.)
I always knew Lilian was awesome, but hearing that she's not only awesome, but also compassionate, popular, and above average from a teacher, was just one of the best things a parent can experience.
The facility where she goes to school is new... and beautiful.  The entire center has teen/kid programs - so there are dance/yoga studios, kitchen (like home ec rooms with multiple kitchens in one room), party rooms, outdoor pool, arcade, bouncy castle, playground, etc. on two floors.  The building has been there for a few years, but pre-school didnt happen last year due to not enough sign-ups and the state licensing didn't come through on time.  I didnt know any of this when i signed her up, but i doubt it would have changed my mind.  I had no personal/friend reviews for it (any local people we knew had recommendations for other schools and sent their kids to other schools, i was even told by one "no one sends their kids to pre-school there) so finding out that Lily is in the First class makes sense!  In January they are taking on more students and a bunch that are 18 months-2 years so they are splitting the class in two and she'll be in the 3-4 year old class.  They'll still combine lunch and playground time so if any of her friends are two, she'll still see them.  But i've been SO happy with the school.  She brings home at least 2 adorable art projects a week (she goes 3 days a week), she does cooking (she made apple pie and pizza), she's learning her alphabet AND sign language (her teacher is also certified in special ed), the building is sparkling clean, her teachers and the receptionists and staff all greet her by name and with hugs, and most importantly, she LOVES it there.  I've had not a single complaint and i'd totally recommend the school to anyone. I know people are hesitant to be in the first class or give a new school a try, but i'm so glad we did.  (If you are in my area and sending your kid to school and you want the name/contact info, contact me and i'll share all the details).  We are definitely considering sending her there next year (also considering one other school we couldnt get her into this year and the public pre-K) and maybe next year i'll do 5 days a week or 3 full days (9-5 instead of the 9-1 she goes now).
I'm dying to get her school pictures back... she'll probably be making the awkward fake smile she does for photos... but i'm sure it'll be adorable anyway.

1 comment:

Thanks for showing your love with a comment!
I had to add word-verification because I was getting tons of spam comments daily - thanks for taking the time and understanding!

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