Friday, October 28, 2005

Fourth grade has been "very, very" good to Will

I've not written in a long time, partially because life took me away from doing any more writing. Too many activities with the kids, summer came and went, and then the beginning of school.

We have lucked out and Will was able to get the best fourth grade teacher this year. My oldest son had her a decade ago, and she is just so great. She has a calm demeanor, a great, fun personality, and Will's little quirks just don't seem to phase her. Mrs. McLaughlin is just the perfect teacher for a kid like Will. As a result, this is the first school year where there was little or no "adjustment" period for Will. He seemed to adjust to the beginning of the school year amazingly well, adjusted to the routine, and although there are the typical problems of remembering the routine, he seems very happy, and his teacher seems happy.

Other things I'm noticing this year -- Will can suddenly tell me with a little more accuracy about how he feels. In the past he has just gone with the flow, never commenting about whether he liked one thing or didn't like another thing. I never really knew if he was happy to go to his social skills class, or if he had a best friend at school. Now, I'm hearing about his preferences more. He's noticing if it's not "cool" to say or do something. He's aware that some of his behavior may be somewhat "babyish," and as a result will stop doing that behavior. It's interesting to observe this change.

At the end of last year, I requested Mrs. McLaughlin, which by law we are supposed to be able to do (make requests for a specific teacher, that is). I had been too relaxed about last year's choice of teacher. I had been told at the end of that year that we were getting a certain teacher, and then the day before the beginning of the school year, they switched Will to a different teacher. I didn't make a fuss, because I feel like we have to pick our battles, and I wasn't ready yet to have a fight. This particular teacher was great in teaching organizational skills, but she was lacking in a sense of humor, and didn't particularly understand Will's needs. It wasn't a bad year, but not a particularly good one either, so I was going to make SURE that this year's teacher was OUR choice. Funny, in that it was apparently the principal's choice as well -- so there was no need for a fight. Good thing -- I really hate being the "difficult" parent. . .


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