Be all that you can be. Find your future--as a teacher.

Musings of a second-year teacher.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Report Cards and Vomit: Oh, How I Dislike Thee...

Quick thoughts only tonight. In an attempt to present both sides, I'm going to find a positive to each of my complaints.

Complaint # 1: Report Cards
I dislike report cards for a few reasons. The first reason is that the report card is a very inaccurate measure of my students. Some students who struggle in class appear to be doing well on a report card. Sometimes a student may go from identifying 0/15 letters to 10/15 letters, but when calculated for a report card, both scores are "N" for "Needs Improvement." The second reason I dislike report cards is that they are overly time-consuming. They require quite a lot of unneccessary work. First, we test students and record what they can and can't do on a skill sheet. I then calculate whether the student receives a "S"- Successful, a "P"- Progressing, or a "N"- Needs Improvement. I record these grades on a paper copy of the report card. Finally, I record each score on an electronic report card. I find all these steps seem rather redundant.

On the bright side, almost all of my students mastered all of the skills they were supposed to learn this six weeks. It makes me very excited to be able to mark so many "S" 's !!

Complaint # 2: Vomit
Well, this really can't be helped. However, it is one aspect of teaching that I may always cringe to think about. A stomach bug must be going around right now, because I had one student get sick on our carpet today while we were singing a song. This is not the first time my carpet has been the unfortuante recipient of a poor, sick kindergartner. I wonder how many kids will get sick on my carpet before the school deems it too germy to endure another year? (With the current budget cuts, my guess is quite a few more kids...)

On the bright side, my student who got sick was in the front row. Which may not seem like a blessing, until you realize that the whole situation would have been MUCH worse if another student had been the unlucky recipient of the throw-up.

I promise next time, I will share happy stories about Kindergarten!


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