Well, Jeff and I met with Mrs. B, the current teacher in Will's class.
Unfortunately she was quite pleasant. :) I was hoping she would be rude to make my decision easier! LOL!
The first thing that we mentioned to her is that we realize what a difficult situation she has been put in and that we understand that it must be very challenging to her. We told her that we were not there to point fingers; that we just had concerns that needed to be expressed and to also get her side of the story. We wanted to make sure she was not guarded in her answers - especially since we knew she had four other conferences scheduled for the same week! Bless her heart.
It was obvious that she was new to the work-force and admitted that kindergarten is different and more challenging than the 3rd graders she had worked with in the past. I think she is aware of the challenges and trying to compensate for them.
She used the word "adjustment" several times in our conversation. Everyone is still adjusting, but she said she really feels like the kids are starting to realize that she's going to be staying (until Mrs. P returns). She said that the card pulling is slowing down as the children are becoming more comfortable with her.
I showed her the difference in the number of cards pulled between her and Mrs. P. There were occasional cards pulled with Mrs. P. That really let me know when Will had had a particularly bad day. When he's coming home with 2 - 3 cards pulled DAILY, the only thing I can think is that he is consistently having bad days and being terribly disruptive.
She told us that Will is by no means the most disruptive in the class... there are at least four others ahead of him. (I was hoping for a bigger number, but at least it's not lower!) She said he is a sweet boy and that she can tell he is "coming around".
I asked how she thought he was doing academically; she said he was doing just fine, right on track, and would put him in the top percentage of the class. I then asked if she thought he was board or not being challenged enough and she said he probably was. She also said that he will probably be asked to attend the school for gifted children next year.
I also brought up positive-reinforcement. Since he's had a card pulled practically everyday for two months, he hasn't been to the treasure box. She kind of smiled and said, "No one really has. There are only about four kids that consistently go to the treasure box." (I'm not really excited about that answer.)
She said that she has started a new chart for positive reinforcement. When the kids are "caught doing something good" they get a sticker on their chart. The collected stickers will help them get to the treasure box. She said Will has about five stickers currently.
She also said something about "bribing" them with a special snack if they are good. I don't really remember what the specifics were to this...
Overall, I really think she is trying to do a good job and has a good attitude towards Will. After talking with Will as well, I think he is ok with her, too.
I think (hope) that the roughest part of the transition period is over and that every thing will even out.
All this thinking about homeschooling has really sparked something in me and when I nonchalantly asked Will what he would think about having school at home and mommy be the teacher; his face LIT UP, he clapped his hands and said, "YES! That sounds like a great idea!"
I truly think Will is board and acting out in school because nothing is holding his attention well enough. Mrs. B let on that there are kids in his class that still don't know their color sight words. Will knew them when he entered kindergarten and I am sure there other topics that he is just sitting there waiting on some of the other kids to catch up. That's got to be frustrating for him.
Now, I think homeschooling is turning out to be more of a personal choice instead of being a necessity to get him out of a bad situation.
The decision has not been made though. I am still educating myself on homeschooling and watching for improvement from the school. (There was a problem just yesterday where the teachers were not communicating with each other and it could have landed Will in In School Suspension if I hadn't stepped in. Let me tell you... I was one ticked-off mama!)
Today I meet with a homeschooling friend that also works with the school system regarding gifted children. She has been very inspiring to me and I look forward to gaining knowledge from her about homeschooling and about Will from a gifted stand-point.
If you haven't noticed by now, I do not make quick decisions. I take my time. I really take my time... to the point of it aggravating some people (seriously). This is constantly in my thoughts and in my prayers. I want to make a good, educated decision. Please pray for us during this decision making time.
Thanks so much for being here, for reading my ramblings, and offering opinions and advice! I love my bloggy-buddies! :)
P.S. Sorry for any grammatical errors - no time to reread! :)