This has been an extremely full week. Let's just say that on Monday night, I kept thinking it was Thursday. I was at the girls' school for three mornings taking yearbook photos and I still need to go back tomorrow. There's a slew of editing to get through now. I've been to three conferences and one meeting at the school as well. And Allie presented to the School Committee. I needed to have blood work done but had been putting it off. Rich had a physical Tuesday morning so after I took photos at school, I went with him. We were both hangry when all was said and done. Throw some early release school days into the mix too.
The photos I'm taking this week are the kids from eleven classrooms in groups of two or three. I need to make sure I get all the kids too. So if they're absent or with a special teacher, I need to track them down later. I had been forewarned that one of the teachers would be grumpy so I decided to get that class over with right away. I think the best time to do these photos, which takes about five minutes in total, is right when all the kids get to school. A friend of mine who teaches at the girls' school agreed with me.
This teacher was so condescending to me. When I introduce myself to a teacher and explain the photos I'm taking and how much of their time I need, I always offer to return at a time that's convenient for them. His response was that there's never a good time for photos. Really? You can't give up five minutes? (And do I need to remind you that this was approved by the principal?) I'm persistent though and so I was able to take photos after he made me wait ten minutes and then made a smart ass remark to the class about my being there.
Forget the fact that I'm volunteering my time. What about the kids? I do this for the kids. (And apparently to give my anxiety something to snack on.) That class didn't have a photographer and someone had popped in the week before to grab some photos so at least they would have something in the yearbook. The photos I take are for something different. The teacher didn't really seem to care. The whole thing was frustrating and sad. My kids love the yearbook and flipping through looking at pictures of themselves with their friends. They would be so disappointed if there weren't any photos. Thank goodness the girls never had him as a teacher.
On to good stuff . . . I was very happy with the girls' parent/teacher conferences. Allie and Emily have really come out of their shells and are no longer quiet students. They raise their hands and participate all the time. Both of their teachers have said that they will not have any issues transitioning to middle school. How are we already at middle school?
Anna leaves the class twice a day to visit the nurse's office. Every few weeks, she's there for a third visit in one day. She's gone from class for a good chunk of time - at least ten minutes. Some of that depends on how busy the nurses are as well. Since second grade, her teachers have been pushing for her to advocate for herself. They are setting her up for success in later years because middle and high school are a different ballgame. Anna's still pretty quiet and I don't know if that has to do with not wanting to call attention to herself. Like, if I say I don't understand this math problem, everyone's going to realize I've been missing from class for the past 15 minutes.
I'm sharing all of this for those of you who have younger kids with needs which require them to leave the class, whether that be spina bifida or not. These kids need to learn to advocate for themselves and find out what they missed when they'e gone. We're still working on it!
Anna's teacher tells me she's a bright girl and that her report card is amazing considering how much time she's out of class. She scored 90% on her last math test! After watching her at dance this week, I told her the story about when I was pregnant and the doctors told us that if she was able to walk on her own, she would need some type of assistance. Her response was, "Why are you talking about sad stuff?" Because it's not sad.
Allie and a friend presented a project they created to the School Committee. Last month, their teacher had asked them to come up with ideas for spreading kindness as a topic of discussion in class. Well, Allie and her friend went beyond that and created a slide show presentation (including flash cards) to give to other classes. And they have spoken to other classrooms in their school. She was absolutely amazing in front of the School Committee. I was watching her thinking that she could one day be a motivational speaker. I ran into her third grade teacher last week and she had seen the presentation and told me the same thing.
The girls are having a small friends birthday celebration this year and I told them that they need to create their own invites. (Mean mom) Within 20 minutes, Allie had set up a google document and shared it with her friends she was inviting. Say what? It was awesomely creative too. So much better than what I would have come up with. It's so interesting to watch kids with technology and see how different it is now. At my last employer, there was a Power Point presentation for everything. And I mean everything. I used to delegate that task right on down the line because I could barely use Power Point. My ten year olds are pulling together slide show presentations for school and for fun with friends. When I was their age, Atari was a big deal. Ack!