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"This is the most exciting day of my life...and I was pulled on stage once to dance at a Bruce Springsteen concert."
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Friday, April 08, 2005

Making The Grade

Since I devote so much time on this blog talking about the performance and dedication (or lackthereof) of my third grade students, I thought it might be fun to take a trip down memory lane. So I drudged up my old report cards, comments and all, to share with you. Below you will find highlights of verbatim feedback I received from my teachers over the years. Pay careful attention to the wording and see if you too can catch the subtle changes and/or contradictions over the years. Also take note of the teachers who only include negative comments, now a big no, no in the world of education. I've also taken the liberty of highlighting those statements which still hold some truth today. Join me as I recap the highlights of my formative years, won't you?


"Although Janet has only been in our class a short while, it is evident she is inclined to rely on others to do things she should be able to do herself (such as buttoning her coat, putting on her hat, etc.) Janet enjoys interacting with her classmates, and is beginning to learn how to compromise and problem solve in a social situation. She enjoys participating in group discussions, and expresses herself easily and well. Janet is a capable child, who generally takes pride in herself and her work. She is learning to accept the responsibility for her share of cleaning up as well. She seems to have a sound base of general knowledge, and good basic skill growth. Her fine and gross motor coordination are appropriate for her age. She seems to be happy at school and enjoys a variety of games and activities. Among her favorites are dramatic play in the house area, where she expresses many of her creative ideas. She listens well, and is gradually becoming more flexible and more willing to accept direction."

First Grade

"Janet tries very hard to do her best. She is, however, having a problem with her handwriting. She must try harder to formulate the letters and numbers so that they are not so spread out and slanted. We will continue to work on this. I know she will be able to do it."

Second Grade

"Janet continues to do very well in all academic areas. As I have recently said to you, moving Janet from the middle to the top reading group was a wise decision. Her recent reading unit test substantiates my feelings. Janet's math is also good. Her talking in class, however, has increased to the point where I have had to move Janet's seat several times recently to try to find a spot where Janet and those near her can work quietly."

Third Grade

"Janet has made continuous progress attaining third grade skills and work habits. She displays a healthy attitude toward school and appears to be very motivated. Janet shows a particular interest in the area of reading. Her love of reading is evident and enhances her school work. Janet's handwriting would be more legible if she would concentrate on using the connecting strokes. I have discussed this with her and she is striving to improve. Keep up the good work, Janet!"

"Janet has consistently applied herself to learn new skills and concepts. She takes school very seriously. She does get a bit flustered if she does not understand a concept. Janet has many friends in the class. She has been polite and displays nice manners."

Fourth Grade

"Janet is a sweet young lady and a very good student. She continued to maintain good work and study habits in the last semester. I would like to see Janet participate more in class discussions and group activities. She has so much to offer but Janet is hiding it! I wish Janet the very best in fifth grade. Remember, KEEP SMILING!"

Fifth Grade

"Janet's work has continued to be satisfactory this marking period. I believe her math grade would improve if she would follow all the steps and use the aids I have devised to help the children remember to put place holders, etc. I would also like her to proofread all her work more carefully before turning it in- looking for mispelled words, etc."

"Janet's glossary and work with general skills requiring rote learning are good. Her difficulty continues to be in comprehension skills. She is especially poor when decoding words and must memorize the meanings of prefixes, suffixes and roots. She should contine to read recreationally and concentrate on main ideas."

"Janet has been successful in most of the reading tasks this year. She has applied herself to her assignments and scored well on written tests."

Sixth Grade

Comments switched over to standard numbers. Repeatedly from all of my instructors I received an 18, "Needs to improve class participation."

"Have a wonderful summer and good luck at the middle school. Don't forget to smile. You have such a pretty smile."

Seventh & Eighth Grade

More letters, same impersonal tone. Case in point:

"Janice's grade on her repord card in French should be 75. Apparently my calculator went a little haywire. It will be changed next marking period."

High school is even more impersonal, if you can believe that, so I'll spare you the details.

So there you have it. I thought about including my standardizied test scores as well, but I didn't want to deliver too much excitment all at once.:)



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