Had a parent/teacher conference with Dalton's teacher yesterday. I was a nervous wreck, as we had gotten a lot of emails from her early in the year about difficulties she was having with him.
Got there, and she had another parent in the room with her, so I had to wait my turn in the hallway. There was a large bulletin board on the hallway wall with tacked up books some of the kids in his class had made about geography, explaining what a mesa, plains, mountains, and valleys and stuff are. I found Dalton's and started reading. There were factual components, such as "a mesa is a mountain with a flat top." But there were also very Daltonesque parts throughout his little book. "Mountains are not really pointy, that's just the way you draw them." "Some people think valleys are called valleys because they look like little 'vs.'" Or how about this one "A canyon is really nothing but a ridiculously large hole in the ground." And then there was my absolute favorite, "The plains are also called flatlands, because there is really nothing there to see. Except in movies and on tv, often you will find cruel people in saloons." When I read that one, I actually snorted!
Anyway, finally got in to see the teacher, and she said that although they got off to a rocky start at the beginning of the year, she now loves having Dalton in her class, says he has vastly improved. She said she's found that what he needs more than anything is to continue to be challenged, and she said she has found it best to have him help other students, which keeps him busy. She also said she would not be suprised at all if he grows up to be a writer, and she is not the first of his teachers to tell me that. Although, I don't really know what genre he would specialize in, because do you classify it as fiction or nonfiction when someone writes that in the movies, flatlands have cruel people in saloons?