I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Friday, December 10, 2010

School Reports are Bullshit

Today my kids got their term reports...reports which I always read with a healthy dose of scepticism and an even healthier dose of cynicism. School reports are totally bullshit, and there is nobody here to blame but the parents they are addressed to. Without fail, all of my kids' reports are filled with "DD1 is making pleasing progress," "DD2 is a pleasure to have in class," and "DS is very inquisitive and is achieving above the level expected," and so on and so forth.

It's all a load of crap. I say this because I find it difficult to believe 3 paragraphs waxing lyrical about how great my kid is, only to be faced with two enormous D's on the top of the page. Seriously? If my kid sucks this hard at this subject, why are you trying to sugar coat it? And really, if this is the END OF THE YEAR, why didn't you do something (or ask me to do something) about the fact that they suck at something like math? I'm kinda thinking math is essential for life skills...or maybe it's like those days when kids got shoved along until someone realised they were in 12th grade and still could not read.

I would love to say that this is all the teacher's fault - but being related to a teacher (my sister), and good friends with another one (The Neighbour's Wife), I know that school reports are designed to tell parents exactly what they want to hear, which is not necessarily the truth of the matter. My sister has often told me that 'nothing in a school report should be a surprise' - because if it is (either positive or negative), it implies your teacher isn't doing their job. I think parents of this day and age don't want to be bothered with the truth - it's far easier to hear that little Johnny is fine than it is to confront the fact that you're raising the devil's spawn. Diplomacy rather than truth seems to be the name of the school report game.

Of particular irritation to me is when teachers use cut-and-paste for their comments...which for us is obvious since we read three of these in a row, but probably works okay for most parents. *sigh* I would have thought they would figure this out by now, but clearly not. I realise that there are only so many ways to say, "Your child is totally fine and basically unremarkable to me," but it still irritates me. Ha - *I* should probably be the one to figure out that after all these years, it's not worth my irritation (clearly I too am slow on the uptake.)

What say you about parent reports? Useful tools, or just bullshit indicators?

1 comment:

Danielle said...

Well, as I was reading, I WAS going to say "if anything is a suprise, the teacher isn't doing their job"....but seems another teacher beat me to it.

Funniest thing about my kid's report this year? I wrote it. My best friend is my kid's teacher (or was now the year is over), and she asked me to help her write her reports. I agreed as long as I could write my own kid's. And I must say....I did a pretty damn good job! Lol. Cutting and pasting is NOT allowed at her school, but most schools encourage it. There is a data base of comments, and you just click on the one that suits. The shitty part is going back through, and making sure the names/his/her are right.

You are right....reports are crap. Especially seeing parents "brag" on facebook that "Little Johnny" got all A's.....I got news for all you dicks....that's only effort. In QLD at least, grade P to 3 don't have a grading system....it is Very High, High, Sound...etc; which STILL can't be converted to A,B,C. It's too complex...ie crap.