Why I don’t let my kids read their report cards (and I’m a teacher!)

Photograph: iStockphoto

This thirty day period, my 8-12 months-outdated and 4-12 months-outdated daughters will obtain their mid-12 months report playing cards. And just like each individual time they get a report card, I’ll get it out of their backpack as shortly as they get house from university, and which is the past they’ll at any time see of it. I’ll pore around it closely—but they will not.

Which is proper: I hardly ever permit my little ones go through their report playing cards. Never ever have, not absolutely sure when I will. And it is not that I never belief what the instructors have to say. In truth, I myself am an elementary school teacher.

In this article are 4 motives why I hardly ever permit my little ones go through their report playing cards.

one. It can harm their intrinsic inspiration to discover.

My little ones, like most, are minor sponges. They’ve figured out so significantly given that setting up university, in a vast wide range of topics, and they are open up to understanding about almost everything. They perform tough simply just since they really like to learn—and my worry is that if they develop into knowledgeable of their grades, they’ll reduce their intrinsic inspiration to discover and perform, and will only want to perform for exterior validation. It will occur at some point irrespective, since there will occur a time when I can no lengthier continue to keep them absent from looking at their grades, and which is fine—I just want to hold off it as very long as attainable.

Set simply just: My little ones discover since they are fascinated by the environment. I never want them to discover just so a piece of paper can validate them.

two. The reviews are not penned for learners.

A boy student counting his fingersWhen did being an average student become a bad thing?I shell out a whole lot of time producing report playing cards to give people a obvious photograph of how their kid is progressing. But people reviews are penned for mom and dad. Youthful little ones will not completely recognize what the comments mean, and will frequently halt at the letter grades—which usually means they overlook out on the critical context of how that quality was accomplished. A much better way for learners to listen to about their strengths and upcoming-action places is by means of parent-teacher interviews about report card time, as perfectly as by means of ongoing conversations with their instructors.

three. It can influence their self-esteem.

I’m not attempting to defend my small children from failure. It is critical for my small children to recognize when they are performing perfectly in a topic, and also when they are having difficulties and need to have additional help. But far more importantly, I want them to recognize why, so we can proceed to nurture the successes but also handle what ever challenges may possibly be producing them to wrestle. Here’s the place I’m heading with this: When learners see a letter quality alone—and which is frequently all that little ones take in from their report (see the position higher than)—those who are having difficulties may possibly really speedily choose that they been given that quality since they are “not good” in a topic, relatively than get the time to replicate again on difficulty places, letting them to truly feel assured and thriving when they occur to the exact same content material in the adhering to quality.

four. Young ones are aggressive.

Opposition can be highly motivating for little ones. But marks on a report card are not a spot for levels of competition. No subject how quite a few moments I remind my possess learners that their report card is non-public, for their mom and dad and their possess information and facts only, I inevitably listen to, “How many ‘A’s did you get?” in the hallway or schoolyard the upcoming working day. I never want my children’s self-esteem to endure, and I also never want them to get absent any individual else’s feeling of satisfaction of accomplishment in their perform.

Dad and mom and little ones get really energized for report card working day, and I get why, but report playing cards are just 1 piece of the puzzle that is the instructional process. They are an critical software for conversation involving the university and house, but they are not the only tool—and not the 1 I truly feel is the ideal in shape for my little ones proper now. In time, we will get there, and I’ll make absolutely sure my little ones recognize how to use the information and facts in their report card for reflection and purpose-placing. That way, if they go on to post-secondary education, they can be completely accountable for their understanding, and in a position to take successes and failures for what they are: methods together the route of understanding.

The author of this tale has asked for anonymity.

Study far more:
Why I’m not worried about my kids’ report cards
Does standardized testing really evaluate your kid’s learning?


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