Report Cards. SMH

I don’t know what goes on in my brain while I am sleeping. Strange stuff, though, I am sure.  I wonder if perhaps I follow Alice through the looking glass, because when I wake up I have the most random ideas floating through my psyche. This morning I was pondering if my students could understand the difference between a defining moment and a pivotal moment.

I sent home report cards, and I hated it.  I knew that no matter what I said, they would wear those letters like labels, ala Hester Prinn – some for better, some for worse.  Would they read the comments and see that I am tracking their growth? Could they understand in the confines of limited space that I am so proud of them? Could they see grades that were low as a chance for a pivot instead of a definition?

I ask them to have a growth mindset. We use the words persevere and iteration. So I feel a sense of betrayal grading them based on a standards system.  I would rather have them work on their digital portfolios of work and reflect on their learning.  That would be a lot of work, a huge paradigm shift and a loss of accountability as our culture knows it – and would be outside of the mandate, of course.

Someone out there has made the shift. I am certain of it.  Is it you? What did you change, and how did you make it happen?

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Author: Reflections of a Fourth Grade Teacher

I am a 4th grade teacher in the High Desert of So. California, mother of 2, wife, daughter, dog hair wearer. If I invest my time, I invest my passion. I believe the rewards of tenacity are available to anyone who is willing to get dirty, make mistakes, work with all they have and ask for help when they have nothing left.

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