Comments Please




I'm joining the weekly Slice of Life writing challenge today with Ruth and Stacey the Two Writing Teachers, and gearing up for the Month long challenge in March I can hardly wait! 
Our report cards went home today. I always hate report cards. I think they are a very small (and sometimes not so accurate) glimpse of a very big task. 
I mean really, how can you sum up a child’s progress in a “P” or “S” check mark, or A, B, C or D for that matter.
I always feel like the comment section says much more about a child’s progress (or lack thereof) than all of the grades I give out.
When my own kids brought home a report card I always flipped to the back to read the teacher comments before I looked at their grades. 
I already knew what kind of grades they made from the work they brought home. What I was interested in was-were they kind, did they use good manners, were they good citizens, helpful in the classroom, and a caring student. Or were they struggling, disrespectful, lazy and falling behind-the words said much more thank the letters or check marks.
I was disappointed when the comment section was blank. The grades may have read 4.0, but the lack of comments left me feeling deflated.
I craved the feedback. I knew my kids were great students. I wanted feedback of my parenting. I wanted to know my child was worthy of the teacher’s comments. I felt the comments were as much a reflection of me and my parenting as my child.
So last night I stayed up late. I marked all the right boxes, and checked all the scores, but what kept me up late were the comments.
Tonight each parent will read a comment from me about their child, and hopefully feel pride in their parenting.  



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7 comments:

  1. Loved how you tied in your own experience as a parent with the one you hope to give the parents of your students. Getting "feedback" from others in the world about how our children present themselves is important validation that all of the hard work we do at home isn't for nothing! I'm sure the students and parents in your class are lucky to have such a thoughtful teacher. :)

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  2. I was a comments reader on my daughter' report card too, but I've only done that on the last report card of the year for my students. Maybe I need to do it each 9 weeks.
    Thanks for the thought.
    Sara

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  3. So great to write those words, Tammy. I loved reading them on my children's cards too!

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  4. I spend hours writing comments. I always go back and reread to make sure I like what I've said a day or two later. Why? Because, like you that was the part of the card that mattered the most to me.
    Yesterday we had a professional development day, one of our new teachers took my cards to copy the wording I'd used. It made me proud of yet another kind of writing.

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  5. Wow, I'm surprised that writing a comment is optional for you! We have to write for each child a literacy, numeracy and a general comment. Writing report comments takes hours- probably 2 weeks for the whole class, but I couldn't imagine sending a report home without them!

    Learning is Rosey with Mrs Josey

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  6. I wish our comments were required! We have new report cards this year, and there is not even a designated place for comments to be included.

    Ms. Cranfill's Class

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  7. Yep, those letters or checkmarks don't really tell the whole story.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

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