Friday, September 26, 2008

Parent-Teacher Conference

Today was Zoe's school's mandatory 15-minute Parent-Teacher conference -- as usual, 15 minutes wasn't near enough time to discuss ANYTHING! Zoe's teacher had nothing but positives to say about her (even the negatives were positive -- she works too quickly and is TOO helpful! Oh, do we know about those tendencies!), and I appreciated a chance to find out a little more of what's going on in the classroom. No surprise, Zoe's talking adoption there, too!

Even before going in the classroom, I had a chance to see some of the kids' work displayed in the halls. Zoe's autobiography included her birth in Guangxi "Profince," and the fact that she thinks of her birth parents every day (she told me when the class started working on the autobiographies that she wasn't going to say anything about adoption, because she didn't want everyone to see that hanging in the hall; it seems she changed her mind). Her self-portait was interesting, too -- she used dark brown marker for her skin. But then again, so did W.H., a little boy 100% Caucasian.

The other work up on the wall was based on a book the class had read about an English family emigrating to America "back in the day." The kids wrote pretending they were emigrating, with great descriptions of their voyage. Most of the kids followed the book, and came from England. Zoe's voyage began in China!

Zoe's teacher shared with me the few times Zoe talked about her adoption and her different family. At the very beginning of the year, when the teacher was trying to get to know the students, she asked them to share something she didn't know about them, and Zoe popped her hand up to share with the class, "I don't have a dad." I was surprised to hear that -- she has said before that she doesn't want her friends to know that. Zoe has also written prayers about her birth parents several times (this is Catholic school, so they write out prayers in Religion class.)

It was also funny to hear from another mom what HER daughter has heard/understood from Zoe about her adoption. M. tells her mom that I'm not Zoe's REAL mom, I'm her step-mom, and that Zoe's mom left her and Zoe is going to go back to China to find her. Mom had a time trying to explain that I'm not Zoe's step-mom!

I was happy to hear the teacher's opinion that Zoe seems really grounded when it came to her adoption, and that her current interest in her birth parents isn't interfering with her school work or her relationships at school. I've felt the same thing, but it's good to hear from an objective observer! Zoe's teacher was also very receptive to receiveing more information about dealing with adoption in the classroom, which pleases me. So I'll be putting together a packet for her -- probably more information than she ever imagined!

And I've used this post as an excuse to share Zoe's school picture from this year. She's getting so big! I always have to tell myself she photographs older than she is -- would you guess she's only 7?!


Zoe'sfriendsyd said...

Congrats on the conference Zoe! No surprise at all. So nice that the teacher is open to materials you present. I didn't think to bring it up today in ours. But it is on my agenda.... the "E" of WISE! As I mentioned before, Sydney actually ASKED me if I'd EXPLAIN to everyone so she wouldn't have to tell her story all the time. And the WISE book came out again.....

Wendy said...

We are loving the WISE book too and it is working really well for M's limb difference also.

Great job Zoe! It is so nice to hear that her teacher is open and accepting as well, along with willing to learn.

Joanne said...

I'm really enjoying your "new" blog and finding it VERY interesting. Even though Mia is too young to express any of these emotions, it is helping me so much! BTW, she still has those lungs you mentioned way back ~ and she is the joy of our lives :)

malinda said...


Good to "see" you! I'm glad you posted -- that re-connected me to your blog,where I can see how Mia is growing up! She's gorgeous, and looks so happy!