Report cards are upon me and I am procrastinating as I have the last two quarters and the three years before. I dread filling out these reports. Four years ago a committee of volunteer teachers made this first grade report. Our system was about to develop a standards based curriculum and the administrators wanted a standards based reporting system. The problem was, nobody was trained in standards based reporting. “Not to worry, said the administrators, we will only use this report card one year.”
Well the report card has never changed. It is not standards based. It is redundant in some areas and does not say enough in others. There are skills listed on this report card that no first grader can achieve so we have to put N/A in place of real information. Our math section is so long it is on a separate piece of paper. Parents don’t understand what the 1-4 coding means. Teachers are not uniform in the way they use the coding. Some kids are given 4’s for doing well in every day skills and others have 4’s withheld because teachers are looking for skills to be applied “outside the box.”
I dread filling out those report cards. I know I have to. Thank goodness, we have conferences to go along with these reports. During conferences the kids and I can show the parents what is real. Students will read to their parents. They will share a favorite piece of their writing. A math skill will be demonstrated using manipulatives. The science notebook will be opened and a concept will come alive as the child tells all he/she has learned.
I dread filling out those report cards. So here I sit writing about them…putting off the inevitable.