Tonight was parent-teacher conferences and I am happy to say that there were NO surprises. We have been fully informed of Sam's progress every week and we already know what his strengths and weaknesses are. THIS is what it should be like.
I mentioned our concerns about the vast amount of work they are doing in class and the teacher agreed that "we have a lot of expectations of second graders these days"...and SHE'S not entirely sure they are all age-appropriate. She said there's nothing to worry about at this stage if Sam's not getting it all done every day. She said that she understands Sam has a desire to be the class clown that interferes with his ability to perform...and she's working on it with him.
We survived two years of really BAD teachers and have reached the promised land!