Whew! This week was full. I had been hoping to write a post about food for this weekend. But I’m still working on that one. I didn’t get around to doing the research that I want to do for it. So I was trying to think of another topic to write about here, but I’ve also been preparing to do a different type of writing this weekend – writing report cards for my little first graders!
As I was preparing to report on my students’ growth and learning, a thought occurred to me, “How am I measuring up on these things?” I mean, hopefully it’s clear that I can read and spell. I’m not so sure that I use punctuation correctly all the time (Too many commas? Not enough?) and math isn’t my favorite, so I try to keep away from that topic on here. But there’s this whole other section called “Personal and Social Development” and it might actually be really helpful for one to reflect upon these types of actions, behaviors and abilities long after one stops receiving report cards from school. Here are a few items from that area:
- respecting the rights, property and feelings of others
- demonstrating self control
- resolving conflicts appropriately
- demonstrating self confidence
- participating willingly
- seeking help when needed
- working independently
- cooperating during group work
- maintaining attention to lessons
- producing quality work
- listening attentively when others are speaking
Of course, these things show up very differently for six-year olds than adults. While my little kiddos need to maintain attention in order to learn how to make change with money, how am I attending to the lessons of change that are showing up in my life? They need to listen as I read stories, but how am I listening to my friends when they tell me about their lives, am I hearing the birds as they sing in the spring mornings? And in all the many times that I’ve completed this report card, I never noticed how “seeking help when needed” and “working independently” are kind of opposites. You can do it by yourself, but we’ll help you if you need it. If only that balance got mastered in first grade, right?!
I’m going to try to find some time this weekend to turn the report card on myself, to reflect on my own growth and development. And as I recommend for the kids, not in judgement, but in a spirit of celebrating success and always aiming to grow. But still, I hope I get an A+!