‘Tis the season to receive first term report cards! But sanitized, I mean “standardized” report cards are almost as ridiculous as the “conceptual” math kids are taught these days (forget times tables and flashcards people, it’s all about sorting and patterning–a great concept if you’re doing laundry).
The report card is basically filled with stock sentences that never reveal a speck of personal commentary or, God forbid, an opinion on your child’s development or progress.
In fact you’ll probably never read, “Jane curtailed her talking to more appropriate times until her Florida trip.” This is an actual comment from my Grade 2 report card. Instead you get essentially the same pat answers to all your burning parental questions.
I’m never really worried, because my boys are bright. And I never really pay much attention to the first term because experience has shown me that teachers follow a certain pattern:
TERM 1 –Your child is completely average. They may excel at a total of one subject, and, even if they’re a budding musician or artist I am still going to rank them as average.
TERM 2–Your child is gradually getting used to studying with me. I am imparting my knowledge and lightbulbs are starting to go off. Your child is allowed 2-3 subjects to excel at (but still not art, even if they’ve studied at the Sorbonne in Paris)
TERM 3–My incredible teaching style has finally sunk in and your child is pretty much an A student. A job well done for both student and teacher!
But THIS report card my middle son received TWO, count ’em TWO “progressing with difficulty” checkmarks. One in music, the other in dance. Seriously? Okay, he is no Frank Sinatra, but he can roughly carry a tune. And dance??? This is a definite setback for the boy band I was planning to manage once the kids hit their teenage years… Oh well, maybe he’ll earn notoriety by being the next William Hung!