So, I had Gelli’s first Parent Teacher Conference last week.
It wasn’t a busy day by my usual standard, I just had two things I had to tend to. Unfortunately, my two things that I had to take care of were so closely scheduled that I felt a bit rushed during my PTC.
I have been to PTC’s before at TLA. But this one was different for me. I think they have changed the process a little…made it more relaxed. I wish I WAS a little more relaxed for the event, but I have learned to roll with the punches, so it’s ok.
I was a little rushed because we had a scheduled lunch with the priest who married us. Father Willy (He’s actually Monsignor already.) as I still like to call him…is visiting from Rome this week for his yearly check up and was able to squeeze us all in, for a family lunch. Many years ago when Nino and I were dating, he was the first one to put what Nino and I already were thinking out there…He asked us both when we were together for Nino’s shop blessing…”So, when are you two getting married?”
But I digress…that nostalgia is for another time and another post…
I have often said that Gelli has given me great perspective in raising all of my children. So, to be sitting across the table from her very loving and supportive teachers was a bit emotional and even a bit nerve wracking…
Does that even make sense when I say that she has given me perspective?
I knew what to expect from our PTC because Teacher Boom had emailed me a checklist of sorts and a “Day in the Life” earlier in the week, so that I could look over everything we would discuss before hand. I appreciate the time to look over everything before hand because that means I can sit and listen to what Teacher Boom is sharing instead of being distracted and shuffling through papers.
Ate Maricel (the aide in Gelli’s classroom) was kind enough to serve me coffee and warm pandesal with cheese pimiento as soon as I sat down with Teachers Boom and Tricia. I was thinking how I didn’t want to be rushing through the conference, but Nino was calling to remind me that Father Willy and the family were already at the restaurant. I pride myself in being fully present, but at this particular moment it was a bit challenging.
Why was I a bit emotional and nerve wracked?
I like to live in the moment with my daughter. The fact that she has Down Syndrome has me celebrating every little milestone that I previously took for granted. I don’t like to look too far into the future, and I don’t compare what my kid can do to what anyone else’s kid can do. I take her progress day by day.
Sitting in a Parent Teacher Conference causes me to pause and evaluate…COMPARE…and of course become more aware of Gelli’s delays.
Overall, Gelli is doing great. She is almost four years old, eats by herself, can communicate her needs to us, and is becoming more and more verbal by the day. I attribute much of her new found verbal skills to her attending school at The Little Apprentice. I feel like she is learning more and more words every day. She enjoys taking turns, reading books, drawing her “name,” pretend play, and visiting the playground. She likes to eat by herself and doesn’t want her teacher’s help when she paints on the glue for their art projects.
But, if I go by the list of things that Gelli should be able to do and say that is appropriate for typical children her age…we have a lot of work to do this summer.
OH MY GOSH.
It’s almost summer! And that means that Gelli will be enrolling in her first set of summer activities!
Before we get into all the summer activities-I want to share one of the field trips we went on in the beginning of 2015 as a class. We all had a great time when we visited Ark Avilon Zoo!
All the kids and the mommas had a great time exploring the zoo together.
The kids learned about the different animals that were there.
I’m not quite sure if Gelli understood everything, but I do know she really liked the big cats, the fish and the tortoise.
While we were near the tortoise, I realized Gelli was looking for Teacher Boom and wanted her to sing a nursery rhyme. I was curious about the song so I checked on Youtube and found this version. Gelli loves it.
Gelli also liked feeding the animals.
Gelli lost interest in feeding all the animals so quickly that we just explored the second floor together.
Many times when we are raising our kids, we have to know when to let them lead us. I also know this is just as important in education. I have written about teachable moments before, and the value in those moments…you know, that time when a child becomes curious enough to start asking questions. As teachers, we often provide these moments for our students. We inspire the kids in the classroom and hope to spark that curiosity where a student will connect the dots. When I am teaching yoga, I hope to inspire my young students to make the mind body connection…and for me, while we are in the yoga studio, it’s also about helping the kids discover a sense of self awareness.
The teachers at The Little Apprentice know how to foster that curiosity with Gelli and her classmates. I can see it when I visit the class, the questions being answered…the wheels turning inside their little heads and the discovery that takes place most days when the kids are working with Teacher Boom and Teacher Tricia.
It’s kinda like the series of photos that I share below. You can see that at first, Gelli is quite fearful of the Macaw that’s perched on my shoulder…but as he gets a little friendly her fear soon turns to curiosity.
This is the time that I want to thank the teachers, the staff and the administration at The Little Apprentice for always taking such good care of my precious little one, for sparking that curiosity not just in the classroom but through field trips, every day experiences, and PLAY.
Because that’s…that’s what preschools are made of…LEARNING THROUGH PLAY…
Now that summer is almost here, I will be checking out the summer programs which TLA will be offering. My boys will be busy with their own activities, and Gia will have her volleyball to keep her occupied, but Gelli will most definitely need some stimulation through out the summer to help keep her on track and ready for the new school year.