Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Parent-Teacher Conference Time

LittleMan is mostly a 3 with a smattering of 4s.


Today was LittleMan's parent-teacher conference, and we received a sheet of paper with a bunch of numbers on it to show us how he is fairing as a repeat kindergartner.

He is mostly a 3 with a smattering of 4s.

I'm repeating it in the hopes that it will mean something. I do know that 3 represents "Proficient" and 4 represents "Excels". But what I was waiting for was an objective measurment sheet to show me why the teacher allocated 4s for certain subjects. The 3s allocations were pretty straight-forward: he completed a certain number of basic test scores correctly, so he is at least a 3... apparently.

But, there isn't any objective scale for determining when a child is exhibiting gifted or above-average levels. I asked! How do you decide a child is gifted at art? So, why the 4s? That's completely up to the teacher's discretion.

Now, LittleMan has an excellent teacher who has been doing this job since the dinosaurs roamed, so her experience has some value. But the truth of the matter is that how she measures is just her opinion. It doesn't mean he is actually gifted... or it might. Frankly, I don't think that is really important, and yet teachers spend a lot of time convincing themselves you why a 4 was warranted.

I'm not trying to sound ungrateful. I love that LittleMan is doing well, and that holding him back to repeat Kindergarten was the right choice, but I don't see the point of this report card.

So what I did take away from this conference? LittleMan loves to learn, he is perceived as a good kid by his teacher, he is an expert hall-monitor, he is academically right where he needs to be, we can do some stuff at home to help challenge him, and his best friend has a tendency to get him into trouble. Okay... sounds good except that last part.

Frankly, I think the fact that LittleMan's teacher gave my son some 4s represents her appreciation of my son's skills in those subjects. That's it. And that's good.

He loves learning. And that's the point.


Tabitha Blue said...

Yeah that is great! I wouldn't know what to think of it either. At least he didn't get low numbers... then you'd have some stuff to work through. Good job mama!!

Anonymous said...

From a strictly impartial point of view....He is such a nice young man. A little light shines in him as it did in his mom at that age. GrandmaC

Michele said...

I think you answered your own musings! If you had nothing from the school system, the teacher, you would want to know why. If LittleMan had all 3s you would want to know why no 4s. So when he did get some 4s, you know he is on course, and that the teacher is aware of it. He may even be somewhat gifted! If you have questions now, I can't wait for the coming years. And it is wonderful that he has that special light. I'm sure Grandma isn't the only one who sees that. I feel my grandson (in kindergarten readiness) has the same thing, and I KNOW I'm not alone. These are special little boys!