Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The end is near

The end is near. The end of Nicklas in second grade, that is. And it can't come fast enought for me. If you've been reading this blog for the past few months, you know that things haven't been the smooth sailing for Nicklas at school. The Polack and I have attended numerous meetings and appointments to try an determine why he's been struggling with his grades this semester. So what have we found out? Not a whole heck of a lot. He's seen his pediatrician, his optometrist, and a child psychologist. Many tests later, everything checks out. He's healthy with perfect vision and no evidence of behavioral problems. This is great news.

And the even better news? His grades are back to where they were at the beginning of the year. The Polack and I are very happy and proud of him. We've had many conversations about trying hard, doing his best work, taking his time, rechecking everything. We stressed the importance of his NWEA tests and he did well. Actually, he did awesome. He's a great kid who wants to succeed. He wants to do his best and make us proud of him. With all this focus on his performance, the meetings with his teacher and principal, the testing; I think it's worried him and freaked him out a little bit. I think he's learning that he can't always coast through his classwork. I think he understands that sometimes he has to work a little harder at some of his assignments. And what a great lesson for a second grader. (How old were you before you figured that out??) Did I mention we're proud of him?

Throughout these past few months, I've forgotten to consider Nicklas' feelings. I've tried to walk the line of letting him know this is serious stuff while being supportive and encouraging. But we've never really TALKED about everything. Nicklas went with the Polack and I to meet with the the child psychologist to get the results of his ADD testing. I wanted to include him and make him a part of the process. The doctor went on and on about how he's a great kid who is super smart, off the charts in math and she didn't see evidence of any ADD. All great things to hear. And at the end of the meeting, he said, "So you guys still don't know what's wrong with me?" My heart broke right then and there and I realized just how much Nicklas has been affected by all these meetings and tests. And the next day at school, he had a meltdown about a seemingly trivial matter.

All that pride, all the encouragement and rewards for doing well, the high-fives and way-to-go's, I know they helped. But they didn't go far enough to ward off his concern and anxiety. So we're done for now. No more tests, no more meetings. We'll keep talking about reviewing his work, rechecking his answers, taking his time and trying his best. That's it for now. I don't expect issues to magically go away in third grade. I understand that we'll still be there for Nicklas, reminding him about what it takes to succeed and encouraging him to do his best.

But I can't help but believe that a long break, fresh start, and new teacher is just what the doctor ordered.


Wendy said...

I must say Mrs. Teacher has a way of making kids (and their parents) feel like tehre is something wrong with them. Glad to hear that Nicklas is doing better!

Christy said...

It's great to hear that Nicklas did so well on the tests and his grades are back up. Maybe it was just a matter of focusing and concentrating. He's a great kid.