School Report

18 Jul

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So we are reaching the end of the school year and that can mean only one thing.

The end of year school report.

I’m not gonna lie, I was bricking it.

The previous ones haven’t filled me with confidence, and being a full time working mum I only have the boy’s behaviour at home to go on, which stinks most of the time.

School Report 1 – Not really a school report at all actually. When the boy was at his private nursery, the only time the Manager wanted to discuss him with me was to inform me that at 2 years of age he was “too hot to handle” and they wanted him out as soon as possible. I could take all the time I needed to find alternative childcare so long as it was no longer than the end of the week.

School Report 2 – a whole year later and an ACTUAL school report after the poor sod had been at pre-school for a whole 6 weeks. Following his previous expulsion from nursery, I was anxious but excited to hear what progress he had made in this proper grown up environment.

My excitement didn’t last long.

The kind, caring teacher became deadpan and dreary, leaving me downright depressed by the end of my 15 minute slot. The truly insightful points she made about my unique son’s accomplishments were thus:

1. He isn’t very good at sitting cross legged when on the mat for story time. Had I had his hips checked? (Yes love, checked at birth… Perfect. Perhaps at age 3 no one has ever asked him to sit in the meditation position before and he’s finding the instruction just a little bloody weird)

2. He seems to prefer playing around other children rather than with them. He doesn’t seem to have many friends. (He’s 3 FFS! – since when does a 3 year old make real friendships with complete strangers in 6 weeks? Quite frankly if he is managing to be in the same room as other children without beating two shades of s*** out of them I think he has made damn good progress, and anyway, perhaps he’s just too young to have developed the “playing with” skill just yet.

Her sour faced retort?……..

“Or perhaps he just doesn’t want to learn the art of compromise, so it’s easier to get his own way if he plays on his own”. Screw you witch, screw you.

3. He struggles to sit still and focus on a topic if he would rather being doing something else….. Don’t we all? Since when did you find it easy to sit down for 30 minutes investigating the properties of artichokes, when Aunty Gok’s “How to Look Good Naked” was calling you on the tv?

I suspect after 3 years being encouraged to play with whatever he likes you’re gonna have to try for a little longer than 6 weeks to get the kid to focus on what you’ve got to say Ms Teacher.

4. He can answer back. She backed this up by explaining that when asked to do something he didn’t want to, his response to the teacher was “I don’t like you and I don’t like this nursery and I’m going to go to my childminders and never ever come back!”. Rude? Perhaps. Cutting? Yes probably. But damn that boys got some initiative for a 3 year old! I couldn’t help but admire.

And that was the sum total of her assessment of my most treasured creation in the whole world.

Pathetic.

So it was understandably with some trepidation that I approached the teachers office last week to discuss Oscar’s performance during his year at pre-school.

BUT, BUT, BUT…. This time was to be different.

First off…. New cheerful teacher! Yes, yes, yes! The dreary Deidre had not lasted much beyond that fateful meeting 6 weeks into the first term, and had now been replaced by a much chirpier model. Marvellous. And rather than the deadpan, depressing delivery, she was instantly enthusiastic about my son.

But most importantly, the feedback, Oh THE FEEDBACK!

Out was the whittering about dodgy hips and in was some genuinely useful information about the boy’s progress at pre-school. And MY how he has come on……

1. His communication skills are advanced for his age. ADVANCED! I was not expecting that. Considering my son has spent most of his life using tantrums and violence to express himself, I assumed perhaps that his communication skills were his weakness. But no no no no, NO. She was keen to impress that he is ahead of his peer group in this area, and as a result of being so articulate and expressive, can avoid physical confrontation with other children.

Well there is progress. No more expulsion for biting. WOO HOO!

2. He knows what he wants, and is determined to do it. He is not a follower or a sheep and is happy to create his own ideas and follow through.

Initially, as a self professed people pleaser I was nervous about this. Would he be a loner? An outcast?

Apparently not. The teacher said he is a leader. He is happy to go it alone, but his advanced (did I mention advanced?) communication skills mean he can get on with his peers just fine.

So my boy is set to be captain of industry. Or maybe a fire chief.

3. He is good with numbers and can count up to at least 26. This is no surprise, he has his mother’s aptitude for figures and can often be heard reciting every number on every bus within a 10 mile radius.

4. He is ok with literacy. He’s better at numbers, but is level with his peers when it comes to the alphabet, and his lower level of progress is thought to be down to interest levels as opposed to capability.

5. He is a sensitive boy and sometimes cannot tolerate when he is asked to do something he doesn’t like. Ah shucks, that’s my fault again. But there’s nothing wrong with being sensitive right?

6. He is very intelligent and has a lot going on in his head. Mummy’s boy again, but perhaps quite relieved about that one.

7. He is keen to express his opinions and interest and sometimes needs reminding to use his thinking thumb during circle time.

Sorry, but I can’t take this seriously, I’m too busy sniggering at the thinking thumb. What’s next? The speaking spoon? The talking toe?

8. My boy is obsessed with fire engines and could probably provide a 20 minute presentation on PowerPoint detailing every conceivable fact about these red rescuers.

No shit Sherlock.

So there we have it. Is my boy a faultless, exceptional achiever who is top of his class at everything and set to be the star pupil in reception? No. But thank goodness for that, nobody likes a smart arse.

Is he a non compliant, unruly outcast with a passion for aggression and destruction? No.

He is what he is. A unique and precious boy, who’ll be just fine.

Best of all, his teachers love him. And since I’ve entrusted his care to others 3 years ago, that’s all I’ve craved. The peace of mind knowing that whoever has the privilege of his company while I am at work loves him for just what he is.

Pass the sick bucket.

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One Response to “School Report”

  1. Kay C July 19, 2013 at 7:32 am #

    Im still laughing! I had identical first report with D in Reception, sour faced moaning about not being able to sit cross legged and ‘showing too much enthusiasm when she gets something right, it can demotivate other children’ and all that crap … same with the ‘not that bothered about playing with other kids’ .. year 1 a sourface who didnt like fact she had to stretch D more than the rest .. Bright=Hard Work. Year 2 Hallelujah! enthusiastic hard working positive teacher who raved from the rooftops and looked blank at the mention of these previous issues … shes not done too bad since has she?? Straight A star student 😀 He will do brilliantly, rest assured, if they don’t fit into a mould they don’t like it, but he will be a superstar and there is nothing, literally NOTHING better than a unique intelligent child who doesn’t follow the crowd and goes their own way with confidence; yes it can be hard when other kids see them as different, but as they get older they attract other bright unique non-sheepy kids who see a kindred spirit, Ain’t No Stopping Them Now! 😀 xx

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