… which translated (German to English) means Assessment Meeting.
Yesterday we had our 1st parent/teacher meeting (i believe this is the more commonly used term) with Tobias, looking at his last few months in 1st Grade.
i was quite nervous before the meeting. i worried about being able to understand what the teacher said and being about to express myself correctly and in appropriate words. My German is conversational but in certain topics my vocabulary is still very limited; i sometimes feel like a seven year-old trying to explain the finer points of an internal combustion engine with the language skills of a three-year old.
Thank God it went well. He is doing good at school and able to do the work well. He is restless a lot and a little slow in completing his work. But his teacher is very understanding, saying that it is all expected given his previous diagnosis (ADHD). She pointed out that his behaviour is still acceptable as he is not disturbing the class greatly and he is quite proficient with his schoolwork.
She was very surprised that he is able to keep his place and the classroom in good order, very uncharacteristic of a ADHD boy. At this point, i wished i could have to words to say, “This is one of the reasons i do not think my son has ADHD. He is just inattentive at times and is very energetic, with a brain which keeps going.” But i didn’t; i didn’t think i have the right words without sounding rude and i also didn’t think i had the words to keep the discussion going in that direction. So instead i said, ‘Oh yes, i’m very strict about how his things are kept at home. It helps him to find things easily and be less frustrated.’ But this is just me, bemoaning my poor German language skills.
Back to what the teacher said. He is great with Math and she was pleasantly surprised at how good his German is, coming from a non-German speaking family. She showed us how he was able to look at a picture and construct a proper sentence about it. Thank God he has his father’s language skills. His weak point she feels is his handwriting and that he dislikes drawing and colouring; generally things which require patience and fine motor skills. So that’s something we have to work on.
His social skills (they are big on social skills here) are on par. However, he did have a couple of incidents where he was closed to slashing out. But she was there to help him control himself. Still it is not a big issue.
The one thing which most impressed me about the whole meeting, besides how understanding his 1st Grade teacher is, is the very first thing she got Tobias to do when we started the meeting.
She had green slips of paper which represented different aspects of school, e.g. I can do plus sums, I take part in class activity, I play well with my friends, I know my alphabets etc… She took each slip, read it to Tobias and asked him to decide how he thought he has done in those aspects. If he thought that he did real well, then he would put a fully opened flower on that green stalk. If he thought only some of the time or not so good, then he would put on a half-opened flower. If he thought he had not done well at all, then he would pick a closed bud. So bit by bit he built his flower bouquet. Tobias had only 3 half-opened flowers, the rest were fully opened. *proud*
i think this sort of self-evaluation is so great! And starting so early in their school years is fantastic! It will build into him a habit of looking at himself and knowing how to evaluate himself and how to move on from there. i whispered to my husband as he was doing this exercise with her, “How come we never got such evaluations when we were in school?” When i was in school, all the evaluation was one-sided, coming from the teacher and the teacher’s point of view only. i think if students from my class had been given such opportunities, it would show a very different picture and would even give the teachers a better view of where their students truly stand and any potential family problems or social problems would be spotted early on.
Looking forward to the rest of the school year now 😀