Disclaimer: This goes against my "Do Not Blog" Rule, but since it is positive about Noah, I am going with it.
We're coming into conference times, starting next week.
Last year conference time was so stressful. Everyone else was posting about how wonderful their kids were doing and how much the teachers loved them. I left both conferences crying last year because I was frustrated at how frustrated the teacher was with Noah. Academically, he was way ahead of the other kindergartners, but he was doing dumb things like throwing books across the room when he was mad and goofing around with other kids when he could easily have been paying attention.
By the end of the year, I almost pulled him a month early because you could tell the teacher just couldn't stand him anymore. It was enough to make a mother's heart break. Noah was part of a group of four boys that were messing around all the time. The problem was also that Noah isn't sneaky, and always the one getting caught. He would take the shenanigans of the other kids, add a bit of flair and spice, take it to the next level of obnoxiousness, and be the one who got in trouble. I started wondering about ADHD, even though I was quite sure that it wasn't the proper diagnosis for Noah.
At the last conference of the year, his kindergarten teacher actually told me that "Mrs. T is pretty worried about having Noah in her class next year." What a wonderful thing to hear, huh?
Over the summer, we played with his food selections and frequencies. We had an AWESOME summer. His aggression all but went away and he learned so much that I was hopeful for a good first grade year.
As this year started, two of the four boys that cause the trouble got sent back to kindergarten, one didn't return to Noah's school and then there was Noah. I was very hopeful. I was still concerned about the preconceived notions of Noah from Mrs. T and I worried that he wouldn't have a fair shake this year.
There have been many emails back and forth this year as Noah has settled into first grade. The jump from Kindergarten to first grade in work level has been huge. His teacher makes and takes suggestions and Noah is doing quite well. She has said numerous times about how much he matured over the summer.
Last year when he got in trouble, it was for being aggressive or rude; this year it's for talking without raising his hand.
This week is the first week he has gotten perfect behavior EVERY DAY so far and we have been praising it BIG TIME. But then I got this email from his teacher yesterday:
Kristi, Noah seemed kind of sad today. He talked about doing school at home tomorrow and said he did not want to come to school. Just wanted to let you know this. I asked him why and he just said he likes it at home. He didn't say if anything was bothering him. If something is bothering him, please let me know. Thanks! :) Have a great night.
I responded with:
Thanks for writing. I really appreciate your being so in tune with him. It shows how much you really care about our kids. I think he is getting really stressed out about being good all the time. Especially when he so close to having a perfect week for the first time all year. I asked him about it, he just says he's tired from working so hard all the time. I am glad that he's working so hard and learning so much. Please keep me informed if things get worrisome. I also think he's fighting a virus of some sort...he sounds scratchy even though he never admits when he's not feeling well. Thanks again for your concern. We are so lucky to have you teaching him this year. See you tomorrow at lunch. Kristi
And the icing on the cake was this morning's note from her:
I think something is going around. The kids have been coughing-on each other and on me-ha-and it's not even winter yet! He has been working very hard! I am proud of him. He did say that he wanted to sit at the yellow table all year. I told him he would probably want to sit with friends for some of the time, but he said no. I said that would be fine, but he freely moves back and forth which is great. I think he likes being at the yellow table kind of away from the "temptation" of messing around. I think he is such a great kid...he has a great sense of humor, he loves science, and learning. He is working really hard on self-control...good for him! See you soon!
(Note: The yellow table is the extra table in the class and I suggested to Mrs. T that maybe he would want to do his quiet work there to avoid distraction. I suggested it to his Kindergarten teacher last year and she wouldn't do it)
I am actually crying happy tears again as I re-read the note. It feels so good for others to see the greatness that I knew was there all along.
What a difference a year can make! I am actually looking forward to his conference next week.