Do you remember your first report card?
Do you still have it? Was it surprisingly accurate in terms of how close it resembled your last couple of report cards? I think I was given praise for my ability to make friends easily, and reminders around personal hygiene. I’m happy to report I took the reminders to heart, probably to keep all those friends I made easily…
Today a kindergarten report card does not offer commentary on social skills or cleanliness.
Reading, writing, science, social studies, math, physical education, art, music, and being a collaborative worker and a complex thinker are evaluated in numbers 1-4. A four means you could be teaching this class. A one means this is an area of real concern. Two is approaching where we want you to be, and a three says, uh huh you get school.
So as Sam’s teacher explained that this is a snapshot into his first three months of school and nothing more, my eyes scanned and my heart thumped. Why are there all these 2’s in writing and reading? How many 3’s? Where are the 4’s. Pfew no 1’s. Are they spending the one on one time he needs? I read to him, and he can identify all those site words. Just because you can’t read his letters doesn’t mean he doesn’t know what he is writing! How had my son so quickly disappeared into a thicket of numbers lost evermore into a system of assessments and evaluative methods that did not take into consideration…
Or was I the one who got lost?
Then I stopped being that mother, and remembered that I am this teacher too.
What his report did show is that he is learning beautifully in all areas, and loves school. It really ends there. But it also shows that he is 5 and doesn’t know yet how to read. It shows that he has amazing background knowledge and all the preliteracy skills he needs.
Wait. There is a back?
In the area of physical education my son received three out of three FOURS.
Lights! Camera! Action! Immediately I am in the auditorium eleven years from now. I am the envy of every father and mother there. I am watching him winning every MVP award with letters up and down the back of his jacket, and trophies by the armful. I was walking up to the podium to receive that rose the super mom gets from her super son. Soon I would be watching him bow his head for his gold medal, and jumping hurdles on the Wheaties box. It says here he is exceeding expectations and he is a damn genius physically. I want to get up on the table like Carol Burnett and point to the 4’s and say; “SEE WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.”
Looks like maybe I was the one who needed a report card. Something tells me under reasonable expectations for all involved I’d be looking at a 1.