Sunday, November 20, 2011

Updates on Some Darlings

I always enjoy parent-teacher conferences (at least most of them) but one this year really made my day. Nate's mom came in and I thought she looked close to tears. In fact, she looked that way for most of the conference. I came to realize it stemmed from her fear that I was going to tell her how little progress Nate was making. That had been true in kindergarten (at least at first). Instead, I had nothing but wonderful things to say about this boy. Then she seemed close to tears of joy.

Nate's mom doesn't speak much English but I think she understood everything I said. We did have a translator though. She shared that Nate keeps telling her that she lives in America and she needs to learn to speak English. He has even gone so far as to put labels on things around the house in English to help her learn (including a 'moon' label on a window with an arrow). He calls her and reminds her of meetings (like our parent-teacher conference). She babysits a little girl overnight and Nate sends her videos about the books he's reading at home while she's gone. I love this boy.

Another little one, this time one who tends to drive me a bit nutty, is reminding me to keep an open mind. After we wrote our Knuffle Bunny book as a class she came in one morning having written Knuffle Bunny Nine: A Halloween Special. It started with "Not so long ago" and in the middle she included "Trixie realized something" - both phrases Mo Willems uses. It was brilliantly beautiful and completely independent.

She's also one of the few kids who can already really think and talk about what she is doing during our language arts block to help herself become a better reader and writer. And still I have to remind myself of these powerful examples of her learning and brilliance when she's driving me crazy. I've got to work on that open mind

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