Thursday, November 18, 2021

Fall Conferences

Our fall semester is chugging along and feeling so very normal, and it's been glorious. We had fall break last month and right before that, we had fall conferences with the kids' teachers. We haven't had an in-person conference in 2 years so that in itself was really, really great. 

I never start with Drew, and since I had her conference first, I thought I'd share about her first. As to be expected, she is doing GREAT. Drew LOVES to learn and absolutely loves school. She has a great group of friends, including her best friend, Zara. She is so happy to go to school! Her guide told me she is doing great, is a class leader, makes sure the other kids stay on task, and is a huge helper. Her guide also told me she is the first to check on classmates when someone is upset. That warms my heart so much! She also scored excellently on her MAP testing {testing they do 3 times a year to see how they are trending against the grade-level required learning} and based on those should do great on our standardized tests, STAAR. She does have a tendency to get silly with her friends and can talk too much - this is feedback I get every year but is very small potatoes when compared to all her other great contributions. This is her last year in Lower Elementary, and she is killing it!

My second 1-on-1 was for Trent. He's in the Adolescent program this year, which is 7th and 8th grade. They do a little bit a hybrid model in class recognizing that the vast majority of these kids will go to a more traditional school in 9th grade. So while they still have a lot of Montessori flexibility but with a more traditional schedule - 7th grade math is at 10AM, science is at 11AM, etc. What was so interesting was the assistant he has this year, he also had in 3rd and 5th grades, so she has seen him through his school career at Goodwater. His lead guide and the assistant were SO complimentary of him!!!! He is having an amazing year. He is a leader in the class and ran {and won} the class Treasurer position. He is doing great academically and is in their advanced English class. His assistant thinks the hybrid model is really working well for him, since he does seem to do a little better with some structure. He is happy to go to school, has friends, and is having a great year. {Minus the stitches from an accident in the school orchard that his class takes care of and the black eye sustained in the gaga ball pit, ha.} This was 100% the best conference I've ever had for Trent, and I left with tears in my eyes.

Last up to round out my conferences was our little ball of sunshine, Paige. She settled into her classroom very quickly upon return from summer and is also having a great year. Her teacher told me she's worried she's going to run out of material for Paige because she LOVES getting lessons, ha. Everybody in class loves her {although it sounds like she can be a bit bossy - 'You can't sit next to me today because you sat next to me yesterday. Now it's xx's turn to sit by me.' HA!} - her guide told me that a handful of parents asked her who Paige was because their child talks about her non-stop. I love, though, that she is a helper in class, makes sure other kids are following the rules, follows the rules, and overall is happy and thriving. One story her guide told me that killed me was that she and the assistant will talk to each other in Spanish when they don't want the kids to understand them {they are both from Mexico} - they will sing songs in Spanish or learn some Spanish words, but they are definitely not in an immersive program - and one day the guide was asking the assistant {in Spanish} where one student's mask was who normally wears a mask, and Paige responded 'she put her mask in her lunchbox'. SHE UNDERSTOOD THEM IN SPANISH!

This is the first time I've had 3 for 3 on great conferences! This year has just been off to such a great start, and I can't believe we're a month away from Winter Break - it's flying by! I love our school and I'm so happy our kids are doing so well!