We come to the end of the first grading period (actually, last Friday on our school calendar) and it is now time to report on each child’s progress for the start of this school year. In grades two – five, your child will bring home his or her first report card tomorrow afternoon. In Kinder and first grades, your child’s teacher has most likely scheduled (or you have already attended) a parent conference to discuss progress thus far.
It is true that just like the rudder on a boat steers and guides the direction of the vessel, so does a classroom leader with a classroom of learners (yes, I’m still on the nautical theme). While I should not compare the two literally, I can successfully attest to the fact that our Miller staff takes the work and the progress of each learner very seriously, applying great flexibility at times in ways a boat’s rudder cannot! It is important to note one fact: learners earn the grades they receive. Leaders of learners are responsible for ensuring the material is presented in engaging, meaningful ways and focused on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Leaders are also responsible for setting high expectations and reteaching as necessary. Good communication and collaboration play a critical role in this process. Likewise, learners are responsible for engaging themselves in the process; we encourage you, the learner’s support system, to work as a partner and participating member with us throughout the process. A grade is simply a mark (benchmark) assigned for a standard of work.
As a mom (just like any parent I visit with), my expectation for my personal children has always been high (I feel confident they have much to say on the matter in fact!). I want to see their personal best always! I frequently remind them: “I don’t expect you to always be the best; I expect you to always DO your best” (just like Coach Rogers says everyday!). If the personal best was a “B” or “C” in a subject, we celebrated that well-earned grade! Grades are numbers (just like my weight and my age). I challenge you to look beyond the number to the progress made instead. We work to add value each day; your child needs your assistance with this as well. Work to improve a concern in a positive manner by teaching your sweet learner the way to guide his or her own rudder. Celebrate the progress! 🙂
For the parent who asked about my announcement to students last week on personal rudders, here you go: “Here are some clues for you today: I am small; I’m on boat; I must be there for you to steer the boat. “A man without a purpose is like a boat without a __________.” What’s the answer? RUDDER—a rudder guides the boat just like your teacher guides your classroom everyday. You have to start your engine every school day with positive thoughts and focus; this in turn allows your teacher to guide you toward all the ideas, dreams, and expectations you have for yourself. Your personal RUDDER guides you to make good decisions, good choices, and sometimes even not-so-good choices. Your teacher’s goal everyday is to help you guide your personal rudder so you can do your personal best everyday. Is your RUDDER guiding you today in a happy, focused direction?” 🙂