For this family, it’s that time of the year for…

  • summer vacation ( we are officially on a summer break but the children are sick so we might get to enjoy the break in May…sigh)
  • putting away, discarding, saving the stuff from the just concluded school year
  • going over the good (and the bad) from the school year
  • interpreting the “grades”
  • “promising” to do better for the next school year by working more on the weak points
  • rewards for good grades which translates to getting higher marks than the previous trimester, or depends on set expectations for final grades (they don’t get big things, only small rewards)

I remember telling my eldest daughter when she was in the elementary grades (and now my two younger children) that I am more concerned that she gets good marks with the citizenship details in her card.

Of course, I tell them, the grades they get do not necessarily reflect who they are. The grades they get reflect the hard work, dedication, persistence and how much they worked hard to understand the concepts and ideas being taught to them but that is not who they are as a whole. The grades are but one aspect of their school life.

Yes, whether we like it or not, these good high grades will open doors of opportunities for students like scholarships. It also gives them a sense of accomplishment especially when they are recognized with these marks. For me though, academic grades should not just be the gauge on students as being”better than other students” because everyone has his/her abilities that should be enhanced and cultivated.

The Citizenship evaluation in the children’s report card, on the other hand, is more important for me because these are the “grades” or evaluation that their all their teachers give as a gauge on how they are seen as…

  • someone who can be trusted,
  • someone who is responsible,
  • someone who shows respect,
  • someone who shows (or not) leadership abilities,
  • someone who is concerned with deadlines, homework, projects, etc
  • someone who cleans up after her/his own mess,
  • someone who participates in school activities and discussions,
  • someone who listens attentively,
  • someone who accepts responsibilities for his/her own action,
  • someone who observes rules and regulations,
  • someone who respects the rights of others

Does your child’s school have these in the report cards?

Or do you just get the numerical equivalent of their grades in academic and non-academic subjects where behavior is given an equivalent number or letter? A B or B+ or 92 for behavior?

Do you think behavior can be measured with a number? Why is it that we put value in numbers and letters and not appreciate the hard work that went with it, no matter what the grade equivalent? 

Does it matter if a child gets the highest academic grades but is disrespectful of other people or does not accept responsibility for his/her mistakes?

As parents, we should focus more on seeing a happy, respectful, responsible and hardworking child who is stress-free and not pressured to deliver when his limits have been reached. We should focus more on a learning that is not memorized, a learning that can be used outside the classroom, either as something to help one deal with the immediate environment and other people or as something to help make one a better person.

And FYI, in my children’s school, all graduating students get awards in their own respective fields outside the academics.

This entry was posted on Sunday, April 13th, 2014 at 8:41 am and is filed under Being a (Special Ed) Teacher, Challenge Yourself, Lessons in Life, My Family. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

13 Apr, 2014 @ 6:52 pm
jun said:

Children experience, learn and enjoy so many things that grades can never measure or even indicate. I sometimes feel that school, education and learning are worlds apart. By observing, listening and just being present in our kids’ lives, we all get so much more than what external measurements say they are or have achieved.

14 Apr, 2014 @ 7:04 am
julie said:

True, and there was this article I read that school kills creativity by setting boundaries and I want to say I agree with it 🙂

[…] JASMS Way taught my children that learning is not defined by grades in report cards and that learning is done not just within the four walls of the […]

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