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Thursday, November 15, 2012
The Power of the Written Word
It is progress report time in my county so I have spent the last several days putting in last minute grades and posting grades. As part of our grading program, I can type in comments, specific for an individual student, that will print on their progress report. It is designed to notify parents of what their student can do to bring-up a failing grade. For example, for one student I commented, "Jane could bring up her current grade of 47 if she would pick her lazy head up off the desk and stop texting under the table." (Just kidding....just wanted to see if someone actually reads this......) What I actually wrote was, "Jane has had a failing grade on our last two unit tests. If she comes in for tutoring, offered several times each week, she may take a recovery test that will help to bring her grade up. But what I really found engaging this week, and what really helped me to feel like a teacher, were the comments that I put in that had nothing to do with failing grades. It was stuff like, "Joe has really turned a corner in class. I am so proud of him and the effort he is putting forth in class. He is a joy to teach," or "Sally is such an encourager in class. She is a great team leader and will make a real difference when she is part of a healthcare team one day." I got so excited knowing that my students would read these comments and feel encouraged and parents would read them and feel proud of their children. It was just a little way to plant a seed of pride in a student's heart with the hope that it will eventually lead them to know their value as a person.