This week we received report cards. This is my second grade one report card, with As, Bs, Cs, etc. Kindergarten just get columns of check-marks.
Am I the only one who thinks that these report cards are crazy? Are they written in a foreign language? Who is supposed to decipher this information?
Luckily, I have a sister and a few friends who are teachers to help me out. Apparently, getting a B now is like what our As were - except some teachers are more oldschool with marks while others are by the book (can't help these puns!) So while the new report cards were meant to help standardize assessments, there is still a lot of interpretation.
What ever happened to the comment, "Johnny is a pleasure to teach"?
In Kindergarten, the reports have three columns: beginning to develop toward expectations; developing toward the expectation; and, meeting the expectation. I guess in Kindergarten there is no option of exceeding expectations!
My advice for parents who are new to this report card time like me:
1) Wait until you are home to open and read the report card. The playground is not the place.
2) Don't let you children see you cry when you read it. It will likely make them feel bad.
3) Only read them the good parts, and don't tell them how many As, Bs, etc. they received. All the kids show up the day after they get their grades and compare. Try to discourage this.
4) Understand that the teachers need to put three goals for your child, no matter how wonderful your child is.
5) Don't talk to other parents to compare. They may lie.
6) Take a deep breath, and try to see the honesty behind what the teacher is saying. If there is an area that needs to be addressed, better to deal with it than to put on blinders. That won't help your child.
7) Don't offer rewards. Encourage them to do well because they feel good about their successes.
8) Acknowledge that your child may behave differently at school than at home. Ideally, they behave better at home, but that is not always the case.
9) Give them a big hug and a kiss, and tell them how proud of them you are.
10) Save the report card.
Next, prepare for the parent - teacher interview.
1) Educate yourself as much as possible, like checking out Ministry websites, to see what standards are.
2) You and the teacher are team, working together to get the best education possible for your child. Ask how you can support their learning at home. Ask to see comparisons of your child's work, and better work.
3) You are your child's best advocate.
4) You know your child best.
5) The teacher has no hidden agenda, and no reason to lie to you about your child.
Finally, try not to cry in the interview. It can make the teacher very uncomfortable.