Report Card Disconnect
I have had similar experiences before, but this one was so glaring that I had to double check that I was reading right.
My grade one daughter's report card describes a different child than the one I parent. If I was asked to describe her in the five words, I would say: independent, competent, friendly, eager to learn, smart and a perfectionist. (Okay, six.)
My guess is her teacher would say she is friendly but dependent, distracted, disorganized and possibly not-so-smart, or at least that is what her report card essentially says.
Her teacher has only been in the class for two months after the permanent teacher went on maternity leave. This teacher is a new graduate and has never managed a classroom before, she is new to the school and she often looks like she might cry.
Most parents in the class were stunned by the report cards thinking that the teacher was very harsh. Since this is my third time in grade one, I know that it can be shocking to see letter grades attached to your lovely child's efforts. So, I know first grade parents can over-react a bit.
But I also know from experience that report cards do not always reflect the child. My eldest son is very bright, but in the first few years his report cards did not reflect his understanding of the work. Often, this was because he did things differently -- he doesn't show his work, he is messy, and he asks a lot of questions.
My second child hasn't -- how do I put this delicately? -- shown his academic strengths yet. But he is a lovely, nice, collaborative child. His report cards are always good, his grades are good -- even though he is on the low end of the reading spectrum. But every teacher wants him in their class because he does what he is told.
At my most cynical, I think that what is being graded in primary school is aquiescence.
Teachers have a lot of pressure and competing interests going on in busy classrooms; I understand why they like easy kids. But what is a parent to do when a teacher is obviously not connecting with your kid?
I am sure that my daughter is different at school, she is obviously quieter and looks for attention and approval. But it wouldn't take much to realize that there is a perfectionist hiding behind the shy smile and hesitant answers.
Most of the parents in my daughter's class are considering this year a "write-off" (as one parent told me) becaue of the issues with the transition and the new teacher. I am hopeful that things will improve, but the report card doesn't make me think so.
In the meantime, I have a parent-teacher interview to go to. Should be fun.
Have you ever received a report card that seemed sent to the wrong parent? Have you had report card disconnect?
Want more chaos? Last year, I wrote about the strange thing about chemistry between little kids.