School reports coming home was always a stressful time for me as a child. I always did my best at school, but being only a year behind my academically brilliant brother, meant that however hard I tried, it was never quite good enough. My parents never directly compared our school work, but the platitudes of being told as long as I tried my hardest, while he got praised for his constant success, was probably why I switched off at school – I did my work, but never pushed myself as I didn’t see the point if my effort wasn’t going to be recognised.
Yesterday was the day the boys reports came home. I had forgotten they were due, but should have worked it out, as consultations with the teachers – parents evening as it used to be called, are next week.
First out of the bag was D’s. As one can only expect from him, it was a shining example of a little boy who gives it is all in class. I suppose having a teacher he totally worships makes a huge difference, but his ability to absorb information makes for a very clever little man. I do some times believe his cleverness is such that he has worked out if he keeps his head down and doesn’t show totally what he is capable of then he wont have to stretch himself too far. Luckily the teacher he has, gets him well enough to read the signs when he is bored or just not stimulated – well most of the time, as he still constantly complains how boring school is. When the first line of the report read “D is a quiet…..” Yes, I had to read that a few times, as it totally doesn’t describe the person that I talk to you about! Bottling his emotions and fears during the day, is what I suppose leads to many of his out bursts in the safe environment of home. It talks about his strong sense of right and wrong – this is so him, as there is little grey in his world, only black or white, and he hates to see injustice, although having said that, he is very unlikely to speak up if the injustice is against him! When it talks of his confidence in Maths, that is of no surprise as numbers are something he has always felt comfortable about. It was good to see him praised for his effort in gym class. Because of his size, he has often been put down about his athletic ability – including it being mentioned that it needed to be addressed on his P1 report, but he loves being active – in fact, he is rarely still, and the PE teacher that goes into the school has really motivated him to believe in himself. D might not be the perfect shape to be a great athlete, but if there was a gold medal for effort, then he would certainly be in contention for it. All in all, D’s report is kind of what we would expect from him. He is a little boy who while the words that sometimes come out of his mouth say otherwise, loves school, because he is, and always has been, a sponge for information – he doesn’t take things at face value, but needs to know they whys and wherefores involved. We are very proud of him.
Then I opened M’s report. School life has always been hard for M. He has had over a dozen teachers in the 5 years he has been at the school, until last year when he had an amazing teacher, has had little stability in his educational life. Last year though he had a teacher who wanted to learn about him, and wasn’t just teaching any child on the spectrum. He was therefore devoted to her, and wanted to be at school, to do his work, to be part of the whole environment of the classroom. It was magical to see. This year, as been a little bit of a sideways step for him, and I do wonder if some of it is to do with the children around him growing up and him still being much younger emotionally than his physical age. He therefore is struggling more than ever to bond with those around him. He has a couple of children he talks Minecraft with, and another child who has told he has to play with her – a relationship the school is aware of and monitoring, but there are no strong bonds. There are 2 girls in his class that I would probably say are the closest thing he has to friends, as they have known him for always and so wont take any nonsense from him, but also wont let any one give him any either, but they aren’t at his table, so it is understandable he feels alone. Having said all this, he is getting there academically. His report talks about his enthusiasm for project work, and how hard he works. I do believe he works hard, probably harder than many children, because he has so much to over come to just cope with being in the noisy, often random environment of the classroom. While M might not be at the stage that would be anticipated for a child his age in some of the disciplines, he gives it his all. I couldn’t ask for any more from him. It talks about how hard he works to follow the golden rules – he, like his brother, is a great believer in rules, and when he was younger, we often had to make things into rules to get them done, as rules were there to be followed! The learning environment may not be the most suitable for M, but he achieving academically, and I think that says an awful lot about him as a person. We are so proud of him.
With the teachers meetings next week, I am not sure what there is to say, as D needs to continue in the same vein, and just push himself a lot more, while M needs more support to learn to develop as a person and not just a learner, something we are working with the school already to try to instigate.
For now though I am a proud Mumma, and I think my clever babies will be getting a treat at the weekend to say well done.