My son's report card doesn't reflect his abilities. Now What?

magiccApril 9, 2002

My first grade son recieved "C" grades in Math and Language Arts when I know he should have at least "B" or "A" grades.

It is his teacher's first year teaching, and I already spoke to her indicating my distress as he is advanced in these areas, but she doesn't understand my concern. I want his grades to reflect his abilities, but she says she has not observed any exceptional behaviour in these areas. I believe I upset her when we spoke at the parent/teacher interview (i was not unkind), but we did not resolve anything.

I am an educator and have prepared an apology/advice letter that explains how she might better assess her students. Should I send the letter, just apologise or drop it?

Am I over-reacting? I just don't want to look back and say "I wish I had ...".

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Your son might have abilities but is just playing around in school, daydreaming or doing something like this. Not saying he is, but that could be a possiblity. Did the teacher have any work of your sons to show you in these areas?? I am just saying the above about the daydreaming or not doing his work, because this is first grade and even the brightest child can get distracted sometimes.

The teacher probably did feel insulted at the meeting. I am not saying maybe she should or shouldn't have been insulated, but she possibly was.
I sure hope you can stay on friendly terms with this teacher. Have you asked your son about Why he is not making well on his papers? (Or did you see any?) I have been to a conference before where the teacher only brought the grade book, that's not enough she should have saved papers to show you.
Again I would want to see the papers and ask questions about them. Like was this math paper a speed test?

I would really want to see just how well he did on those Math sheets. Also ask about the timing on the tests. I would also be intersted in how other students did in the class. Do you know other parents to talk to about this. Any child in that class that you know is advanced..and just how he/she did?

Will your son have a standardized achievement test this year? I am thinking you may be from Canada, The British Ises , Ireland, or some other Brisith country because of of the Engish spelling of (behavior as behaviour)so that is
why I am not thinking he would take a Standford Achievement test.

Does the language art mean "Reading" or his understanding of "Words and their meanings" or is it "Phonics". I am puzzled about that. But possibly you know exactly what that means.

Sometimes I do think a child having a new teacher can be a drawback, not always. Do teachers where you live do alot of student teaching before they get their teaching degree? Just wondered about the teacher's experience in actually teaching a class.

If things really get critical go to the Principal or Administrator of the school and see if you can find out some answers. I would try first to resolve this with the teacher. Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2002 at 1:08AM
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I can see why you are upset, but try to remember that he is only in first grade, and these report cards are not going to affect his future. Don't make too big a deal out of it. I can't even believe they give grades to first-graders. Tell him you are proud of how smart he is and how hard he has worked, and I'm sure his grades will be better next year.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2002 at 1:29PM
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Grades are based on actual acheivement, not ability. If he did not show that he actually acheived mastery of the subject matter his ability is of little consequence. The teachers have to have the paperwork to back up his grades. Why don't you ask to see it?


    Bookmark   April 9, 2002 at 1:44PM
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It is just this teacher's first year. Lighten up. Be positive with your son and encourage him. You have spoken with his teacher. Do you understand how she arrived at the grade? Have you seen his folder of work? Mommabear gives good advice.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2002 at 1:48AM
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I would not recommend sending the teacher a letter of advice. She will not like it and teachers talk a lot. Your son is in the first grade and when he goes to second you don't want that first grade teacher to say to the second grade teacher 'watch out for so&so's mother'. If you feel you were not very nice to her in the meeting you might just want to say to her that you got a little worked up because it isn't what you see at home--every teacher should take into account what the parents see at home so she might appreciate your side. I agree with the above posts to find out more of how she arrived at the grade. And definitely ask your son about it. Maybe he understands the math, but is having a tough time doing the tests.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2002 at 2:25PM
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Use Baura's advice about the situation.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2002 at 9:15PM
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Don't send the letter. Calm down and talk to the teacher and let her explain her methods and her observation of your child in the classroom. It sounds like you're on two different wave lengths here and you need to understand where she's coming from and AFTER you hear her side, you can explain what you've seen your child excel at and see if she has seen what you see. Again, possibly compare written work from your child and remember that what a child does on a one to one basis at home is frequently different than what they do sitting in a class with other children. Please post the outcome.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2002 at 10:07PM
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