Teachers and Grading
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting my cousin’s Science and English teachers at his school’s ‘Meet the Teachers’ Event. I was less than impressed with the meeting. First, I went to see the English teacher. She looked at me as though I had interrupted her family supper and asked ME what would I like to know. She then promptly summarized some points and ushered me away. I went in search of the Science teacher, hoping for a better experience. I found him standing around in the gym chatting it up with some fellow teachers. I approached him and introduced myself. (I had my cousin with me by then). He was even more aloof and brusque. (I could use more colorful adjectives here). He made me feel like a paparazzi seeking unauthorized photos. ‘What would you like to know about him?’ was his opening. He then casually mentioned that my cousin was good at basketball, too ‘in’ with the girls, and if he can apply himself a bit more, he would be alright. he shied away from anything specific.
Now, I don’t want to be too judgmental or harsh on these fine teachers. Maybe it is just me. I went expecting a bit more formality. I expected to be sitting across from the teacher’s desk, while they explain to me in no uncertain terms, how my boy was doing. Giving that I had never met any of them, this would have been the proper way.
Yesterday, my cousin brought home his first report card. That was a joke! In my day, My report card did not need a glossary to translate the terms that explained how I was doing. I was either PASSING, LAZY, NEEDED TO WORK MORE, FAILED, OR EVEN N/A (for when words could not describe how badly I was performing), or worst, REPEAT GRADE. His report card eloquently stated that for Science, he OCCASIONALLY DEMONSTRATES EXPECTATIONS EMERGING. (I used the Academic Indicator for that one). Now what exactly am I to glean from this?? Is he doing good? Is he an average student? Dear Teacher, Say It Like It Is! His English was graded as DE, which means FREQUENTLY DEMONSTRATES EXPECTATIONS DEVELOPING. Well there it is again!! What EXACTLY is developing and emerging at this school?? The kid is reading below his age group. His writing needs a lot of work, he is lazy, does not turn in homework, etc. but would anyone get that from his report card? Well at least in Phys Ed. He got an ES which means he CONSISTENTLY DEMONSTRATES EXPECTATIONS ESTABLISHED. (by then my consternation had turned to laughter). Putting it all together, I am gathering he is Frequently Consistent Occasionally. Seriously now, let’s break this last one down. So there are expectations in Phys Ed. that were Established. (I got this part). and he is Demonstrating these expectations consistently? Sorry, lost me there, still makes no sense. Maybe it’s just me.
I would schedule another meeting to get his report card translated but I could be interrupting something. Maybe a lap dance.
Just my take…
Footnote: On May 16th, 2012, almost 7 months to the day, the following article was in the local newspaper. Click here to read.