Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Good News and Bad News

We had Sophia's parent/teacher conference last night.

It was our first genuine conference with the teacher, so we weren't sure what to expect. Sophia had to come with us, and we were very surprised at how much of the conference was actually driven by her, the student.

First, she read through her self-evaluation with us. She got to choose "yes" or "sometimes" for things like "Listen to the teacher," "Do my best," and "Keep my hands to myself." Then she got to rationalize her thinking aloud to all three of us. The only "sometimes" was keeping her hands to herself. When asked why she has trouble, she told us that she sometimes feels "trapped in the learning and just wants to have fun with her friends." Fair enough.

After her self-evaluation, she got to read a story to us. A story from her real life that she had written and drawn out in book form. It's one of the things they do in Kindergarten these days. And it's the one thing that Mrs. Wilson went out of her way to tell us that Sophia does really well. She does the rest of school well, too, but this seems to be a strong point. She was very proud to read us her story (and the rest of them when we got home.) 

Mrs. Wilson then asked Sophia what should be done again in Kindergarten next year and what could be different. Sophia leaned back in her chair, looked around carefully and said that she "would consider" doing more with what they call the "toy store" on the bulletin board. I was impressed that the teacher would ask these kids and genuinely care about the answers. I love that, in Kindergarten, they are already learning that what they have to say is important and valuable. I would love to hear what all the others had to say. I certainly do not want to teach Kindergarten, but I would love to hear more of what happens in their brains. 

At the end of the conference, Sophia left to put something away and Mrs. Wilson said, "She's a very social child, as you know. That will be the good news and bad news of her school career." 

I wonder how many times, over the next decade, we'll hear that statement. Honestly, I hope it's pretty often. Then, summing up the good news/bad news scenario, Mrs. Wilson said, "She is just so.... Sophia." After which, I was very confident that Mrs. Wilson knows our girl. Only once you truly know her do you realize how fully she defies description. 


  1. I find the same thing. When I try to tell people about Sophia, they want to know what she does or what she says, but I always ending up saying it is just who she "is" that makes her Sophia.

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