I had planned on venting here Monday night after having read the kids school reports with them after school. Fortunately the world didn’t come crashing down as we had feared and the reports were actually decent and the class placement was better than expected.
Girl-child’s report was as expected; she is doing exceedingly well in all areas of her school life, she loves school and has a strong cohort of students of all ages to spend time with both in and out of the classroom. Essentially she loves school and the school environment loves her and she is thriving. Other than the excessive amount of time off school (oops, a 3 week trip to Japan will do that to your attendance record) there is nothing at all to be concerned about. She is excited about her new teacher because he loves music and writing and has suggested that they can write songs in class, could she be any happier? I think not, the boy-child however, I wasn’t so sure.
It is fair to say that I was expecting the worst with boy-child’s report as he had a less that impressive mid-year report. I should clarify that it wasn’t the marks he received that I was concerned with, it was the fact that none of the issues the teacher had highlighted were even communicated with us prior to reading his mid-year report. We didn’t know that in the first half of the year he did so little reading work in class that the teacher found it difficult to grade his ability! There really is no point me re-hashing his mid-year results and subsequent three-way conference with his teachers but you can read about them here and here.
Anyway, I was relieved when I opened his report to see that he was at an appropriate level for all of his classes, even back ahead of where expected in ICT. The comments still weren’t all that favourable but did show that he did contribute in class more frequently and more positively, I could breathe a sigh of relief before flicking through the specialist classes report and his self-assessment.
Now I am guessing that it is fair to assume that the reports are standardised across the state, but just in case they aren’t here is a summary of the format of his school report at grade 3 (the format was slightly different for girl-child in grade 1). It starts with a chart showing where your child sits in relation to what is expected of a student in that grade at this time of the year. This is followed by a general blurb about what the student has achieved, areas for improvement and how the school will support the child’s learning. This is followed by what we can do to support learning at home and finishes with a student’s comment that is typed into the report, I am guessing, by the teacher. This is where I struggled to keep it together as I read through the comment with boy-child sitting on my lap.
Here are boy-childs comments on his year. Names have been changed to protect the innocent and those less innocent!
“Something I am looking forward to at school next year is me not having to be in loud abrasive teacher’s class because my dad talked to the principal about having a teacher that I get along with. My favourite things at school this year were watching the videos, playing outside with my friends and I especially liked maths because they are the things I like doing. Some things I improved at were maths, reading and writing because my mum got my brain working.”
I guess he calls it as he sees it and it is clear that he didn’t like school much at all this year. It makes me sad that he learnt how to play the game but didn’t get along with his teacher at all and had a very negative school year (for the second year in a row) but I am very happy with his teacher for next year. His new teacher is the teacher he had in prep; she is kind, nurturing, supportive and he likes her. Above all I am able to communicate freely and easily with her. I am really looking forward to working together, all of us, to ensure he has a great year at school. As a bonus he even has some of his friends in the same class!
All I have to do now is stay sane for another few days and school is over for the year. I wish I could say the same about work!