Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Kaitlyn is a success!

So last year I made no secret of my distaste for Kaitlyn's teacher. She was awful. She broke Kaitlyn's spirit and made 2nd grade a terrible year for her. In all honesty after talking to numerous parents who's child has had her as a teacher I'm surprised she's still teaching. She is definitely not well liked.

Now anyone who knows Kaitlyn knows she is a good kid. Now I'm not some delusional parent who thinks her children are perfect. I am sure they make mistakes at school, but in comparison to some teachers generally wish they had 20 more of my kids in their class. That's the feelings of Kaitlyn's teacher this year. We truly lucked out to leave the school we were in.

I've also made it no secret that the teacher Kaitlyn got in her new school has been superb. In all honesty the man is the best teacher any of my children have had. It's actually sad to see the year come to an end. This year Kaitlyn's teacher took that broken child and transformed her into one with great confidence. In October she announced to me and her teacher that she would like to reach a reading level of 30 by the end of the year. I worried that her goals were too high and she would be so disappointed if she did not achieve this goal. Her teacher and I even had a discussion about it. After all we're talking about a child who only managed to leave the 2nd grade reading at a level 12. She really made no gains to speak of at all in 2nd grade. However, while Kaitlyn did not reach her goal she came very close. Just one level away at a level 28. I asked her if she was upset that she didn't quite make her goal and she said no. She's proud of what she did. I am too. Her teacher is blown away by her. He has never seen anything like it. He attributes it to her work ethic. That is the thing with Kaitlyn, she doesn't give up. She keeps plugging away. She sets her mind on something and she works to get there. She managed to not let what happened last year get her down. She managed to do all of this at a new school with a bunch of children she didn't know. She managed to make better friends this year at this new school than she has ever had too. The entire atmosphere in her new school has just been such a great thing for her.

She came home the other day with a grade of a 95 on a project about kangaroos that she did. She was so excited. Here she is with her project:

A close up of the kangaroos habitat...

She had fun doing this. She had fun doing most things in school this year.

She is still behind where she should be. I will never know had we moved her out of her old school sooner last year if that would have been better for her. There really can be no looking back and playing the what if game. We are where we are now for a reason and she's getting the education that she needs and deserves and that she could not get in her old school.

She will continue with her special arrangements for testing. She will continue to work on the Wilson reading program to continue to build on what she has already learned. I see no reason why she can't possibly be at or even above grade level by the end of next year. Just look at the gains she has made in such a short time after having such an awful experience. To go now from a wonderful experience onto hopefully another wonderful teacher there really is no reason that she can't do it.

And her teacher has already assured me that he will sit down with Kaitlyn's teacher for next year and tell that teacher all about Kaitlyn. Honestly, there really is no better person to do it either. He knows Kaitlyn almost as well as I do. It is going to be so hard to say goodbye, but I know that he will continue to check in on Kaitlyn and I just see so many great things for her. Don't ever count Kaitlyn out of anything because she will work her butt off until she accomplishes what she wants to accomplish. With gentle nudging and a helping hand there for her in case she falls nothing will stop her. I will be forever grateful to the man who got Kaitlyn to increase 8 reading levels in one year! And I couldn't be prouder of what my determined girl has done. She's a true testament to the never give up motto.