Kids, man, they're such a time suck.
If you want the background on the To Kindy or Not To Kindy decision, it's here.
I went to The Girl's first official kindy parent-teacher conference Thursday night. There was no drama, no conflict, no good narrative tension… not that I'm complaining, but it makes for rough writing.
The SpEd/SLP were running a few minutes late and her 'formal' teacher seemed a little lost at first, but soon warmed up and had nothing but good things to say. The Girl is (mostly) sitting nicely during circle time, there are a couple kids in the class who ask about her and want to sit by her (my heart!), and she looked shocked when I asked if my sweet little angel* was walloping people, as she'd done last year.
[Not a critical factor but I was also happy to hear she isn't intentionally dumping her food/drink at lunch - something she delights in a home. *phew* Also? THAT is why peer modeling works, my friends.]
We only had 20 minutes with the primary so the SpEd, SLP & I soon moved into the teacher's lounge where we went over her IEP goals (she has a re-evaluation coming up) and just chatted about how kindy is going. She's picked up the classroom routines easily, they confirmed she knows all her letters, upper & lower case, and they were delighted to find that she loves-loves-loves to read, doing my bookish heart proud. She's busy exploring her AAC and even answering questions on it (!). She is, however, exhausted by the end of the day, and especially by the end of the week - but they they anticipated this going in so no surprise. [And, really, who isn't done by Friday?]
They seemed appropriately uninterested in the IEP numbers and percentages, stressing again that this year is about communication. They talked about how the para hangs back during activities so she isn't being smothered or singled out (!). They love her social stories & have shared them with the class. And not only did they agree to a communication book (the emails have been a wee bit thin lately), they're going to put it into Proloquo2go so that my daughter can tell me about her day. That is brilliant.
They told a couple funny stories about her - which completely escape me now - but concluded by commenting on what a bright child she was.
Oh, you guys. This is the dream.
Yes, I am a sucker for compliments about my children but it wasn't just that - they recognized her strengths, they intuitively understood things other parents have had to battle over, and they were completely invested in their role in my daughter's success. They just oozed a lovely, quiet competence.
I read somewhere that older SpEd teachers are the worst at pushing inclusion because they tend to be territorial of "their kids". That doesn't to be the case here but she IS spending most of her day in SpEd, by design. I know anything could happen over the next few years - we could end up battling over the amount of time in gen ed when we re-do "traditional" kindy next year, we could argue over the number & timing of push ins vs pull outs. We could lose the pro-inclusion principal. The SpEd teacher from heaven could quit or move. I could get hit by a semi. The Girl could…. well, anything could happen. But what a gift this year is.
P.S. Also, only a few kindy art projects seem to have received excessive assistance. I think she did the eyes on this guy - at least she recognized it and grabbed it from my hand - That's MY spider, mom!