Saturday, February 20, 2010

The 'L' word

It was only a couple years ago that my school's report card's comments were premade and you selected the comments by selecting the numbered code. For example:

212 A pleasure to have in my class
I know what you're thinking. Wow. How personalized!

Despite how lame this was, that actually isn't my point today. Instead, I thought I would look up how many out of the roughly 400 comments had the word 'learn'.

I was astonished.

I was disgusted.

And then I laughed, because the answer I found was just sad.

Out of 400 comments I found no more than 7 comments that actually said the word some form of the word 'learn'.

For me, this was one more peice of evidence that convinced me we can become distracted from what really matters. We become lost from our primary destination.

If kids don't go to school to learn, what the hell is the next best answer?


  1. Judging by the record card comment answer, to make a classroom more pleasurable for the teacher. Our world needs more people-pleasers.

  2. I worked through a phase where comments were pulled from a list as well (perhaps we all have at this point). That's done, and I did breathe a sigh of relief when we switched to our current design. It too has a ridged structure divided into academic, social and work habits. It is not such a bad thing. What matters -- learning and the behaviours we associate with successful learning -- are on the report and some information is conveyed to student and parent. You cannot overlook them as you are fixating on some young person's habitual annoyance in your classroom. In a sense your "She is a pleasure to have in class" may be better explained by these forced criteria. Our current report design is essentially an Excel spreadsheet (don't get me started on it) and it provides ample opportunity for personalized responses. It gets slammed regularly but I think it is heading in the right direction.


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