We had conferences on Monday for the big 3. If you aren't interested in my bragging and/or perfect explanations of the personalities of my 3 biggies, move right along. Cathy has some good posts about crazy run-ins with animals (did someone say coyotes and bears?)
Tomas was first. Obviously his was going to be a bit different. For those considering and/or going through an older child adoption I'll let you in on what our school is doing with Tomas. He's in 1st grade. He stays in his class for a good portion of the day but then goes down to Tariku's kindergarten class for math and reading. Also, every day for about 20 minutes or so he meets with the ESL (English as a second language) teacher for more intense-and more basic-instruction.
So his teacher, who is amazeballs by the way, said his smile lights up the room and completely makes her day. His absolute love of learning and desire to know exactly what's going on inspires her and the rest of his classmates. She said he's already come a long way and she can't wait to see what he's going to do by the end of the year.
His ESL teacher said he is the kid serious about learning. While others are talking amongst themselves he's studying her and waiting on her to teach him something. :) She did mention lately that she has had to ask him to be quiet from time to time, which she saw as a good sign because he was getting more comfortable. But she saw what we all see, he is one freaking smart kid.
And he LOVES school. Everyday after I pick him up from the bus, "Mama tomorrow school?' If it's a yes, he celebrates, if it's a no, "Oh no mama, why no school tomorrow? Oh mama this is bad." I hope he never, ever quits that love of learning.
Tariku was next. His teacher, as mentioned before, is one of Zach's besties' mom. But she's serious about education so we knew she wasn't going to sugarcoat anything. She said a few things:
-Tariku uses inititiative to help others. He shows caring and friendship to his friends.
-He shows perseverance to be the BEST reader. Wonder where he gets being the best. :) Sometimes he's too hard on himself!
Boy does she have him pegged! She also mentioned that kids in his class try to act like him all the time. His teacher said, "I NEVER tell parents this, but it's so true of my class this year. Tariku is the best student." And I don't doubt that for a second. He's smart (she said he's way ahead in reading and counting, etc), funny and so attentive. His teacher did mention that he never sits still (preaching to the choir a bit there) but she wishes she had a class full of him.
Darnnit that kid is amazing. I actually cried twice during his conference. The first time was when she had him start to "read" (he was more memorizing). I couldn't believe this was happening. I couldn't believe this little boy who spoke no English 2 years ago was reading. I kept thinking about his special people in Ethiopia and how much I wished they could see him. How proud they would be of him and how proud we are.
Then I cried when she told the story about a book she was reading that talked about a girl giving her mom flowers. Tariku raised his hand and said, "I have the best mommy in the world." That's kind of a big deal, he's not one of those kids who cuddles (he's way too busy for that crap) or randomly professes his undying love for us.
But sweet Jesus I love him and am so proud of him.
And then Trysten. His I was kind of most looking forward to because I haven't gotten the opportunity to talk to his teacher much. She was wonderful, it made us feel great about his year. She said a few things about him:
-He's very good at reading and math, he'll be starting time with the TAG teacher next quarter.
-She was hard on his behavior at the beginning of the year ("and it broke my heart to do so") to kind of set an example to everyone.
-She said he needs more "meat" in his writing. More details, more setting the scene, etc. This made us laugh a bit because it sounded more like his aunt Kara than his mom or dad who love telling stories. :)
-He's also picked good friends-phew!
We were obviously very proud of the fact that he doesn't hold anything back and that he has started to show more of his personality, I was pretty concerned about that.
So this was a little scrapbooking. All this to say, it sounds like the teachers have gotten to know our sons and it sounds like they are starting to love them a bit too. Not nearly as much as we love our boys, obviously. So proud to call them my babes, so, so proud.