It’s the time of year when things come to a head; the days are shorter, the cold is upon us and it’s time for teachers to send home the progress reports.
The Little Bird has seemed very happy in grade 1. There have been no incidents, no phone calls and no notes home. She even proudly, yet matter-of-factly told me that she was going to be good this year. She would not go to the office to get into trouble.
I was happy to hear that.
And then just last week she said that she was having a great year. Her teacher told her so.
Again, I was so happy to hear that.
So when that brown envelope came home this week with my interview time, I felt a little nervous. She’s always done well with the academic part of school, hitting all the marks and levels she should be achieving for her age and grade. We struggled with her ability to express herself, and more importantly her anxiety and frustration resulting in some not so acceptable behaviour in the past.
So to say I was nervous going in, would be fair.
I met with the French teacher first, since I was early for my timeslot. I told her teacher that I often hear the Little Bird rhyming off the days of the week, her numbers and colours in French. In fact, just the other day, she and her sister counted up to twenty in French. She is clearly enjoying learning languages, and the teacher confirmed that. “She is eager to learn, always volunteers to help out and is a joy to be around.”
I felt a bit more at ease as I went into to meet with her teacher next.
She shared with me that there has been a huge difference in her since the beginning of the year. She is more mature, able to use her words to tell the teacher when something is bothering her and knows when to avoid a situation that will get her into trouble.
I felt such a sense of relief and told the teacher that we could see a difference in her at home too. She was so happy to do her homework and proud to do it on her own. She was happy to go to school, talks about her friends and the lessons she learns.
The teacher told me that the Little Bird was really good at assessing herself now. She is the first to offer her help to her friends who need it, is a great helper in class and has found a couple of friends who are quiet and calm, which seems to be really good for her. She rarely overreacts to situations and demonstrates the ability to work through her emotions, which is sign of her maturity. The teacher told me about a time where the Little Bird leaned over to whisper about another student who was fooling around at the sharpener, and she joked that it was as if the Little Bird was telling her she wasn’t doing her job!
“She is a wonderful student who is kind and sensitive and helpful to her friends and to me,” her teacher said. “A real pleasure to have in my class.”
I was elated! I am so proud of her for making good choices and for learning that tears are not the solution to a frustrating situation.
I quickly met with her Italian and gym teachers, who both said similar things. Signora, the Italian teacher, said at times the Little Bird is impatient with her, but the teacher said that she was okay with that, as it meant that she is eager to learn more. I assured her that we heard lots of Italian songs in our house lately and she seems to show a real interest in learning more.
I can’t wait for her to share the songs and prayers with my parents and in-laws.
The gym teacher said that she is very helpful and is the first in the class to help out another student if they need it. If they don’t have a partner, she’ll volunteer to be with them. She is full of energy yet has a calmness about her, which is great in gym class. It did take the Little Bird a couple of classes to get comfortable to the new teacher, but once she was okay, she hasn’t looked back. Again I heard that she was so great to have in class.
I even bumped into the Principal on the way out, who has had her fair share with the Little Bird last year and she assured me that this year is a huge improvement over last year. The Little Bird is doing really well and seems to really be enjoying herself this year. I told the Principal what the Little Bird said to me about how she would not be going to the office to get into trouble this year, and she laughed saying that was fine with her!
I left feeling so happy. So proud. It took me everything not to go inside her room and hug her last night, so instead I hugged her this morning. I told her that she was making excellent choices this year and to keep it up. I told her she was right and she was having a great, fantastic and fabulous year and I was so proud of her.
Her face lit up and she hugged me back.
Way to go, Little Bird! We are so proud of how far you’ve come.