Friday, November 16, 2007

Report Card Day

Report card day, in our house, usually isn't a good one. Jake comes home with the piece of paper in hand and while the letter grades are usually very good, he is never happy because of one piece at the bottom.

It's the student behavior section.

Why the BC Ministry of Education sees fit to grade children on their attitude, effort, and work habits, I don't know. I really don't see how "works neatly and carefully, is organized, and shows pride in work" is fair to a kid with learning disabilities and dyspraxia. Or even how "pays attention" is fair for kids with ADHD. We don't grade kids in wheelchairs on how fast they run, and I personally don't see the difference. Nonetheless, this is part of Jake's report card and despite the As or Bs, he has usually focused on this section and found his grade sorely lacking.

It's never been for lack of trying mind you, but somehow, he's always ended up with "some concerns" or a 1 (on the scale of 1-4, which means he's not meeting expectations). We've explained how this is a fairly subjective area, but last year the grade resulted in the report card being crumpled and thrown in the garbage, along with many tears and a completely defeated kid.

"I'm TRYING!" he wailed, "WHY can't they SEE THAT?!"

So when I came home today and he ripped open his report card, I wasn't quite sure what the reaction would be and I held my breath in...anticipation of a meltdown.

Attitude: supports learning
Effort: supports learning
Completes tasks on time and gives personal best: 3 (on a scale of 1-4)

We gasped in wonder.
We danced a jig.
We high fived.
We jumped up and down and hugged, screaming for joy.

Jake: "I can't believe my teacher GAVE me those marks!" he exclaimed as we drove out to the candy shop for a celebratory root beer because, oh my gosh, this is SO HUGE that you just can't pass over it without having some sort of celebration.

Me: "He didn't give them to you. You EARNED them. He just recognized it."

Jake: (beaming in the back seat) "Well..... It's about TIME."

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