I love the boys’ teachers. Love them. They are so perfectly suited for each of my boys.
Tyler’s teacher has a lovely, endless smile. She’s patient, gentle, and just darling to look at. He is deeply charmed by her. “Mommy, if she leaves my school, I’m going with her.”
Tucker’s teacher has a very dry wit, and she believes in the magic of first grade. She takes her job very seriously, and she listens well to her students. That’s pretty much Tucker’s bottom line: take me seriously, and listen well.
I met with Tuck’s teacher to talk about his early reading assessments. She explained his scores to me, gave me tips on how to help him, and showed me new ways to support him as a reader. She was brilliant and gentle, an expert with her strategies. I listened and took notes.
Then she said, “I feel like maybe I’m telling you something you already know. You’re listening very respectfully, but you have that look that says you might already know this stuff.”
Oh, shoot. I didn’t want to be that mom.
I don’t usually lead with this information in parent-teacher conferences, but she had called a spade a spade. “Well, I was a teacher before Tucker was born. It’s not that I know this stuff, it’s just that I know this language.”
“Oh! Well, then let’s talk the language!” In an instant, we were peers across the table, talking DRA scores for a student about whom we both care very deeply. I brought background information, and she shared new discoveries.
And that’s what I call a partnership.