Like most elementary schools, Michael's does a leveled reading book system. And last year he made very little progress. So little, that in March I emailed his Kindergarten teacher and let her know I was concerned about how little progress he was making. Her response to me was less than satisfactory. And while I wasn't thrilled with her before that exchange, it all really went downhill in the Spring of Michael's Kindergarten year.
If you have been reading me for a while you may remember that Michael was pulled out of a preschool program because he was having, what they described as, "significant behavior problems." Now whether or not they were significant and whether or not I should have done that is really water under the bridge. I will say they were HORRIBLE to me and they weren't so nice to Michael, but what has stuck with me, to this day, is that they told me he would never read And last year, when he was sooo behind in reading, that was the only thing I could think about. I felt like I had become one of those parents who couldn't handle what someone was telling her so she took her ball and went home.
I've said it before, and I will say it again, I somehow always go back to, what if they were right? What if Michael never reads? What do we do then?
Right before Thanksgiving Michael's 1st grade teacher emailed me to tell me that she was moving him up two reading levels. She didn't want me to be concerned or think she made a mistake, yes, his next reading book would look like he skipped a level. But she tested him and he tested two levels higher. She then went on to discuss the progress he was making and how hard we was working. How he was mastering his sight words and his "strategies" for when he didn't know a word.
Her email discussed how proud she was of him. How proud we should be of him.
Michael is now where he needs to be at the end of this semester. In February. Yes, his best friend is already where he needs to be at the end of first grade, and I know kids reading at much higher level, but I learned an awful lot last year, and one of the things I learned was to stop comparing. This is huge for Michael. He has never been AHEAD in reading. He has always been behind.
I think I can finally let go "what if they were right?" I think I can safely say, unequivocally, old school, you were dead on, wrong. About so, so many things.