Wednesday, June 19, 2013

School year end for Ben and Ian

Ben finished 1st grade on June 10th and Ian's last day in daycare until late August will be this Friday.  For both boys we have been blessed with teachers that fit their personalities and temperaments.

At the start of the year Ben was super sad that he had not gotten the teacher that leads Jr. Jazzercise.  At one point of the year his own teacher commented, I think he has a crush on her as he writes stories about her, has drawn pictures of her.  Ben didn't need to have this teacher based on what I know of her and her magnanimous personality.

He needed someone who could be fun, also had defined rules, handled transitions with expectations, and held Ben to the type of student she knew he could demonstrate.

From the first day she suggested that we try not to use a behavior contract like he had finished the year with in kindergarten.  This proved to be a large motivator for Ben to not feel singled out, and instead worked for incentives in the class prize box as well as the shared group effort for what she called "warm fuzzy table points." Ben swelled with pride when he felt like he was helping his table win prizes.

The largest areas of improvement for Ben including reading comprehension and fluency.  At the start of the year he was behind, even with the help of a summer tutor.  Ben liked looking at books, but often shied away from wanting to read to us.  By end of the year, he finished on grade level and most nights reads a book to his brother as well as his assigned homework reading.  He wanted to participate in the local library summer reading program with the incentive of additional bear bucks for books finished.

His class had an end of the year ice cream party and I was glad much like the once a month I was able to volunteer with his class.  Mainly I helped on select Fridays and planned a special snack and book related to the week's theme.  I also helped with math and literacy centers on the few days I was able to swing meeting Ben for lunch.  As much as I would have loved to volunteer more, given my own full time schedule, I was happy that every month both Bill and I had at least one morning or afternoon to get to know Ben's teachers and class. I loved seeing him in the environment he spent most of his waking hours in for the past 10 months.

A very big thank you to his teachers for making 1st grade a positive and successful year for Ben.  At this point he is staying on the medication that seems to be working in terms of weight gain, increased appetite, and  overall good behavior for most days.

For all the ways that poor Ian suffers from 2nd child syndrome, he won out on daycare.  I commented to the director as I signed yet another accident report yesterday, that Ian has been happy and content in the second year at his daycare.  We could not be happier with his care of the excellent (and patient) teachers.

This year he has had two wonderful, loving, and yes firm with him teachers.  One of his teachers recently left for a month long overseas trip to visit family.  She mentioned that Ian told her that she should pack "sandwiches and a waterslide".  Ian has flourished this past year with a language explosion and after a rough patch of not napping, is back to most days an hour long nap.

I appreciate them both working with us through trying behavior throughout the year.  Both teachers report that Ian has turned a corner in the last few weeks.  We at home have also noticed and rewarded better decisions and behaviors.  I've been trying multiple strategies as well as trying to anticipate behavior that will trigger fighting, whining, and in general child nastiness.  I would be nuts to think a lull is anything other than a lull, but I'll take it.

Thank you teachers for making the 2012-13 school year positive for our boys, we thank you so very, very much!

1 comment:

LauraC said...

Jigna is THE BEST. She and Erika (in the baby room, doesn't work there any more) tie for our favorite teachers the entire time at Preston.

So glad Ben got a good fit this year.