I am going to try to take off my educator hat and put on my parenting hat for this post. I am doing this because my kids went back to school this week. My oldest son is the 4th grade and my middle child is in 2nd grade. My youngest is only 3. So he gets to stay at home and terrorize his mother.
I must take a moment today and blog about how much my oldest son's teacher has impressed me in just three days of school. First of all, I got an email from her on the second day. I have to be honest with you, I have received plenty of emails over the last few years and they have not all been good. My oldest is very bright and creative but he can also be stubborn and disruptive. In other words, he's a typical kid. However, the email I received from his teacher told me how smart and funny my son is and how excited she is to have him in class. I was instantly won over as a parent and I was sure to tell my son about the great email I received from his teacher. His eyes lit up and huge grin came across his face. I think she has won him over too.
But wait...there's more...
So I come home yesterday from my school and my son runs to me to and starts telling me as fast as he can about a project they are doing for science. He's got his group and they working on an experiment. They are going to test their experiment on Friday and he couldn't be more excited. In fact, he kept bringing it up all night long.
Every night when I put my kids to bed, I try to spend a good 10-15 minutes with each on just so we can talk. It's important to me that I spend time with each of my kids individually. Of course, last night Micah wanted to talk to me about his experiment. He talked to me about how he knew other groups were using some of his group's ideas in their project. I asked him what he thought about that. He said that was fine because they were using other people's ideas too. He told me, and I quote, "I think everyone is using other groups' ideas and then modifying them to what they think will work."
I'll be honest with you, as a parent and an educator, I teared up a bit last night as we spoke. From a parent's perspective my son's teacher has shown me that she cares about my son and wants to communicate from day one. It is awesome to hear my son talk to me about collaboration, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating after just three days of school. My son is excited about her class and is already wondering about what next week's project may be.
Let me also mention that this entire project is only happening at school because I send my kids to a school that believes school is school and home is home. My kids had no homework, text books, or letter grades last year. All they asked was that we encourage our kids to be kids and to read with them daily. I can do that.
I know it's early, but this year is certainly starting off right!