25 June 2009

School Goodies

We had a parent-teacher meeting this morning at Josh's school where each of his two teachers sat down with us to discuss Josh's progress in school.

This meeting is done twice during the course of their 11-month academic year, but this is the parent-teacher meeting that I always look forward to, because this is where they actually hand over the goodies. By goodies, I mean --

1) Their "portfolio" : This is basically a big sketchbook that the teachers have turned into a scrapbook. Through this "portfolio," we actually get a better look at the progress that Josh has made through the year. It contains photos of Josh doing specific tasks, a record of events (Chinese New Year, Fun Friday themes, Pretend Day, Fire Truck Visit, trips to Science Museum, etc.), samples of his work. It's all very beautifully organized and makes for a very nice keepsake of each school year.

2) The "journal" : A booklet where each child draws pictures and then gets to write about the drawings on the opposite pages. At the beginning, the teacher would sit down and write down his "narration" verbatim. As the year went along, we started to see a word here and there that's actually written by Josh himself (sometimes copied, sometimes "invented"), then short phrases, then full sentences. Granted, some of the words are not spelled correctly (or even make sense), but by golly, he was writing away!

I love to see his drawings, but most of all, I love to read his journal entries. They usually give you a glimpse into what's on his mind, what he's interested in at the moment. I remember there was a time when all he would draw and write about were machines and buildings; then there was a time when he would talk about Zoë a lot. This time, his entries are more varied in terms of themes.

He talked about a chef --

"The chef bumped into the sharp edge of the table. The table fall. The chef ran but she was not fast enough. Good thing that his mommy was there to help him for the bandage."

about dinosaurs --

"The Dino Book. fo Dinosaurs lost its way. Best to bay foeeot dB aY To eeo TH Baoo eolve oetttT. zzzzz Hole Holez Yyoee"

about lightning --

"The lightning. My sister was afraid of the lightning and my sister's name is Zoë. The lightning burned down the car park. The house was burned by the fire, but my dad was not afraid. My mom saw a tomato."

We also got Josh's report card today and we couldn't be any prouder of him. He's done extremely well, with his teachers noting that he "exceeds age expectations in Literacy... making excellent progress." Well done, Josh! An excerpt --

Josh is a friendly and enthusiastic little boy with a kind nature. He appears completely confident in the classroom environment and always initiates purposeful activities when playing in the interest centers... He indicates politely but firmly which activities he wants to be involved in, but will persist with a non-preferred task, maintaining concentration despite distractions or interruptions. He tidies up after himself, without reminders. (Now, if only he`s like this at home, too.) He can frequently be heard to set goals for himself prior to an activity. His projects are often quite ambitious and original, e.g. devising written exercises for the teacher to complete. (He does this to me at home, too, giving me `homework`to complete!) He does not hesitate to ask assistance from an adult when a project has not produced the intended result. Josh is a delight to have in the class and I have every confidence that he will continue to do well in the future.
When your own extremely biased views about your own child are validated by teachers, you somehow feel an equal sense of gratitude, pride, and humility. You pray that you will be up to the task and not drop the ball, that you will do right by the child/ren with whom you have been entrusted.


Mahmee said...

Awesome! Pride is good. :-)

a Tonggu Momma said...

What a delightful boy is Josh! I would have loved having him in my class.

LPC said...

What a great moment. Enjoy. I for one think his drawings are really creative.

Jennifer said...

LOL, nothing wrong with parental pride! :-) Congratulations on having such an excellent student and sweet big brother on your hands!

Lindy said...

Well done Mom!!!

I always love those packets too. Their self-portraits at the beginning of the school vs at the end are priceless!

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