November 9, 2005

Oh, The Things They Say

Last night was parent-teacher conference for my oldest son. We hadn't heard all that much from his teacher this year so we really didn't know what to expect. After last year's continual up-hill struggles I must admit I didn't have high expectations. While he didn't get all As, he scored mainly between 89% - 70% on the majority of the scored areas. They don't award letter grades just yet. The grading scale is set up something like this:

1 = 100-90%
2 = 89-70%
3 = 69% or lower

His report card had a few ones and a couple threes, mostly he scored right in that average range. I can live with that.

What I really like is its evident his teacher likes him. She told us "there's not a mean bone in his body". She also told us he's quite the storyteller. Very creative. While most teachers would have labeled his exaggerations as lies, she complimented his public speaking abilities. "He's very confident and at ease in front of his classmates". Even when he's telling a whopper.

Here's a great example of a story stretched beyond the truth.

First, the facts: my son had borrowed his dad's hat that morning, another little boy took a liking to the hat and wanted to claim it for his own. This led to a confrontation the teacher and principal had to sort out. At first, my son stuck to the truth--it's his dad's hat and he has to take it home or he'll get in trouble. Unfortunately, the other little fellow wouldn't admit defeat at this point, forcing my son to add some flare to his story in an attempt to earn sympathy points.

The hat wasn't just his dad's. It was his dad's dad's dying friend's hat. Yes, the child actually said the little knit cap originally belonged to someone dear to the family who was dying.

Save those chuckles. I'm going to give you a laugh out loud moment.

Now, you'd expect most teachers to be offended by this behavior. My son's teacher is going to channel it into fiction writing. (I think I may love her). She also said they'd work on when it's appropriate to make things up and when it's not, something we'll reinforce at home.

Now for the really funny part. I thought I was going to die of embarrassment. The teacher asks my son to read from his journal. He flips through the book he's been keeping since the beginning of the school year and selects a passage on keeping his family safe. Aw, how sweet, you say. Uh huh. I thought so, too, right up until he said "I want to keep my family safe from drugs and alcohol" and then he looks at me and his eyes get real big and accussing, "Mom!"

Great! His teacher and her assistant now think I need rehab or something. That's just lovely. You know that's how rumors get started, don't you? LOL