Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Whole Different School Year!

A year ago, when I sat down with Juliana's teachers for all of the parent-teacher conferences, it was always with a sense of dread because I knew what was coming. She's too stubborn. She talks out of turn. She's very talkative. She often goes off-topic and strays in classroom conversations. I wrote all about it, if you care to go back into my archives. It was a very difficult year, and it was only kindergarten. We did make enough progress to have her diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, which you can actually plug into the search bar for my blog and find the entries where I talk about.

This year, first grade, has been a better experience so far. Her teacher is more laid back and is "much" younger. Her teacher last year was probably just as stubborn and straightforward as Juliana is, with a bit more of an abrasive personality than her teacher this year. Juliana adores her teacher this year, and they get along well. Her SFA teacher up until today has been, well, let's just say she should've probably retired years ago. She's in her mid-late 60's and is very grumpy. I've spoken with her, so trust me, she's grumpy. Juliana would NEVER speak against her teachers, but I could tell how she felt because she'd hedge about doing her homework for that class.

She's also having forgetfulness problems this year, as in forgetting to bring home and back to school the appropriate folders. Forgetting to bring home homework to do. Every now and then, her teacher sends home a small stack of worksheets stapled together, which is homework that she's forgotten to bring home. That's just unacceptable, and we're working on getting her to remember to bring not only her folders home, but her homework and appropriate notes.

However, the conference was mostly positive. She's an exceptionally bright girl. She's in the SFA program, and for first grade, they expect kids to be in level 4. She's in level 24. The newest semester of SFA just started and they've got her in GRADE TWO SFA. Remember, she's 1st grade. I think that's called Wings.

Juliana is always one of the first kids to try to help other children in the class who might be having trouble. She always has praise and encouragement for other students when they get answers and tasks correct, especially if they were having problems getting the answer. She always wants to help and be a be a Classroom Helper. She's always happy and bubbly and friendly. The office already knows her well by sight and by name because when she gets to deliver stuff to the office for her teachers, she enters with a big, bright "HELLO! How are you today?" and then continues with a conversation with whomever is in the office. She's popular and smart and funny, and her teacher said that she always looks forward to seeing Juliana's writing assignments because Juliana always has something great to say and makes her laugh about 95% of the time. Juliana is creative and knows it, and enjoys school and her classmates and her teachers. Especially now that she has a new SFA teacher.

I'm just so proud of her. My smart, beautiful 6 yr old!

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