Thursday night I went to my niece's parent-teacher conference. I had met her teacher once before when we got together with her knew school to have a lame "transition" meeting with her old school -- in October.
Her teacher -- I will call him Joe -- seemed like a good guy when I first met him; genuinely interested in helping her meet her academic goals.(Readers Digest Compact Version: she is on an Individual Education Plan (IEP) as she has some learning disabilities and she was placed into a passive behavioral class because she has anxiety issues and likes to run away from school). But I have thought that before about her teachers and have been disappointed every time... SO I went in to the meeting rather reserved and interested in hearing what Joe had to say.
We were a half hour early and went to the book fair in the library. Joe was there and was happy to start the conference early. We started off with a very in-depth discussion on Age of Conan (I haven't played but M really enjoys it). Joe is a huge fan of both Conan (GEEK!) and serial killer thrillers, which put him in my good books (right at the top). We then moved on to more mundane topics. He showed us samples of her work and said that she is doing well. She got a B in math and he explained why. The only thing we needed to ask him was what could we do to help her meet her academic goals?
Basically, niece wants to go to med school (she is 11 right now -- always good to plan young, lol) and has started to realize that she isn't where she needs to be to get there.
Joe said that he would go through the curriculum and her work, and identify the holes in her foundation. He would then send home some extra work so we could spend a few minutes a day with her. Objective: Fill the holes.
I left feeling that the meeting had been productive. He provided us with a very clear plan for the niece as well offered me a very old Conan comic (I'm telling you - GEEK!) from his collection.
Joe seems like a teacher who actually enjoys teaching special need children and who actually cares about what happens to the kids that he teaches. I enjoyed discovering this. I enjoyed having a positive experience with meeting her teachers.
My niece is scheduled to remain at that school for another two grades. Hopefully he is the sucker who gets to teach her ;)