The children brought home their progress reports this week. The format for these reports has changed radically since I was in grade school. Gone are the A, B, C grades -- now there are 8 new letters and I need to constantly look up their meaning in the key. It is also no longer politically correct to call them Report Cards, but I am not clear why it is better to call them Progress Reports.
We sat down with each child and went over their reports. Overall, they both got very good reports. Unfortunately, when we went over Erin's it did not go smoothly.
I remember someone telling me once that it is easier to believe the bad things people say about you than the good. I saw the truth of this while going over Erin's report. We went over at least 20 things on which she got high marks.
Her art teacher gave her high marks on everything except following rules. It said in the comments that she needs to listen to the rules and follow them more carefully. When we talked to Erin about this she forgot about all of the good things on her report and concentrated her focus on the art class comments. She ranted about how that wasn't true and she DOES follow the directions. She stormed off yelling that she HATES the progress report.
Not wanting her to feel that she got an awful report and was doing badly, I tried to convince that there were a lot of good comments on the report. I had her take her report and write down at least one thing in each subject that she was doing well.
Once she did this and saw that it was really a good report, she was more willing to discuss the art class comments. She admitted that sometimes she talked when she shouldn't and didn't do exactly what the teacher wanted all of the time.
She has promised to listen in all classes. We explained that if she is doing her best then we are not so concerned about not getting a perfect grade, but that it was unacceptable to get low grades in behavior.
We are also going to meet with her main teacher and her art teacher to discuss a way to track her behavior throughout the semester instead of finding out about it on the progress report when it's too late to do anything about it.