Sunday, October 11, 2015

Day 11: When I evaluated student performance...

     When I was a teacher, I was able to evaluate many different kinds of students with a range of abilities.  Some students worked up to their potential, but others did not.  Some made good grades, and others did not.  There was not always a correlation between the two groups.

     I had students in my regular education history classes who worked hard, made progress, enjoyed learning, and made average grades.  I was very proud of them & all they had achieved.  On the flip-side, I had students in the IB courses who did not work as hard, made good grades, and achieved little over the course of the year.  Of course I was still proud of their achievement, but not in the same way.  To see a student work hard & make progress is amazing, encouraging, motivating to a teacher.  It is what I would wish for all of my students, regardless of ability.  To see a student get by without applying themselves left me feeling that I had not pushed them hard enough.

     Now as a momma, I find my judgement on my son's ability inadequate.  I am not familiar with the standards for his age or grade level.  I am not aware of how he compares to his classmates.  I receive no feedback from his teacher to let me know how he is doing.  I find myself wondering after looking over his first interim report, which basically just said he's not struggling in anything, if he was doing well.  I can tell from the work that comes home that he seems to be completing all the tasks appropriately, but again, I have not basis for comparison or rubric to compare it.

     As I have watched my nieces who are a few years ahead in school, I have been able to talk about 'successfulness' with my sis-in-law who was a superior student whereas I was a high achiever.  She is an amazing comfort for me to watch how she navigates these early years.  We discuss how to remind ourselves that although we achieved high grades & were very successful in school, it does not dictate our children's path.  We of course can help, be involved, and equip our children to do their best, and we can try to provide the best choice for their educational needs.  We can celebrate their achievement at whatever level they attain.

     I do not know yet what level of achievement my sons will attain.  I do not know if they will have any significant struggles in their academics, or if they will be placed in honors tracks.  I do not want to assume their path will be the same as mine was, or try to make it look the same.  As their momma, I hope I can remind myself of what it was like to watch my students achievements, and use the same scale for my sons.  If they are working hard & doing their best, then I will be very proud of their accomplishments, no matter what grades they bring home.

I may need to remind myself of this as we go along; Lord you know my perfectionist heart.  Please keep me from placing that burden on my sons. Amen.


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