school stories

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Today is day 10 of the new school year, and knock on wood, everything is still going very smoothly.

I hadn’t been hearing much from Isaac’s teacher, so I wrote her at the end of last week and asked how it was going. She said it was going well, that he has picked up the class routines nicely and she is currently working with him on raising his hand. She said that she knows he often knows the answer when she asks the class a question, but he prefers to passively sit there and not answer. And this is SO ISAAC. He’s never been one to show us what he knows. I can picture him thinking “I know the answer to that, and YOU know the answer to that, Teach…so why are you asking?”

Three years ago this *same teacher* had to teach Andrew NOT to raise his hand when he didn’t know the answer, because he ALWAYS raised his hand. She actually put together a lesson about just that for him and his fellow-ethusiastic-hand-raising buddy. She explained that they won’t always know the answer. That before they raise their hands, they need to think to themselves “DO I know the answer to this?” To practice she’d ask them questions like “What is 2+2” (they raised their hands), “Who is the main character in yesterday’s story?” (they raised their hands), “how much money is in my wallet?” (they started to raise their hands before catching themselves…ha!)

The difference here between Isaac and Andrew in regards to class participation is CLASSIC. I feel like it illustrates them perfectly. :)

Last night was curriculum night and I met with Andrew’s teacher and she told me Andrew’s reading level…which jumped 3 levels over the summer! For some reason I find that so exciting! He’s really been into reading lately…which is just so fun! GO Andrew!

But…writing is another story altogether. He HATES writing. He tells me “Mom, I’m just not a writer!” As though that is free pass out of writing. Sorry, pal…you still have to learn this. We’re working on it everyday…but it’s not easy. In school, to encourage him to write, they dangle this carrot:

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A circuitry kit! That they got specifically for him! When she showed me this last night, I was SOO impressed. And SO GRATEFUL. I feel like often people that work with kids with ASD work so hard with the areas that challenge them, that there is no time or space to encourage their personal interests/fascinations/obsessions. Sometimes it can feel like I only hear “yeah, yeah, yeah. He loves science…but we really need to talk about his writing.” Their fascinations can be all-consuming, distracting and even annoying…but their fascinations can also be PRODUCTIVE. And I just feel so great about Andrew having access to people that get that and WANT to encourage what he loves.

And one more thing. I saw this on the wall of Isaac’s classroom:

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Which has me thinking that Isaac assumes I spend all my time at home gorging on technology. oh Isaac. :)

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About robyn

I stopped teaching Kindergarten in 2005 to become the mom of two crazy boys here in Brooklyn. At first I thought being a stay at home mom meant that I needed to pour all my time and energy directly into my sons, but I realized somewhere along the way that being a rockstar mom meant not only taking good care of my boys, but also taking good care of myself. And taking good care of myself means pursuing something creative...just about everyday. I started Made In Brooklyn to motivate myself in my creative goals as well as share my work with others and perhaps inspire them in their own creative journeys.
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