Friday, December 20, 2013

That Time of Year

It's that time of year.

Report cards.

I've worked diligently. For months. I've checked roll books and tallied attendance. I've designed the Excel file and created formulas. I've called the parents that needed a calling, spoke to the students that needed a speaking, wrote the letters that needed a writing, and completed report cards for my 79 students.

Seventy. Nine.

It never feels that much until report card time. And then it is that much. And my eyes start to blur from the ABC's (fine, also from the DEF's. No there is no E grade. Why is there no E grade?) and my brain starts to fizzle out comments, rather than essays, about all seventy nine. No time for 79 essays; no time.

It's the time of year that I like to congratulate myself on deciphering the Da Vinci Code (required, when trying to decode what my students are writing. Want to test your talent? Translate these treasures: yourup, contenyou, stricket, concer, pritty.)

It's the time of year that I like to congratulate them on offering creativity when they can't find, you know, the right answer. (That was my way out of many assignments back in the day.)

And of course, there is no time like the present, to take a moment and appreciate their optimism (gotta love the student who graded her own test in pencil before handing it in. Unfortunately, that was some misplaced confidence,) and their really sound excuses explanations for not doing as well as they could have (and please, can I please take the test over?).

So in honor of the Report Card Joy that we're all feeling, I'm bringing out an oldie-but-goodie. Came up with most of this list a long time ago (so it may look familiar to you) but I've added in some new ones to commemorate the fact that I'm doing this again. And again. And again. 

_______ brings a lot of positive energy to our class (does she ever sit at home?) and is always eager to share her knowledge and insight (incidentally, while I'm busy sharing my thoughts with the class myself). We look forward to teaching her in the coming semester (although, we've heard of some other GREAT schools in the area). 

We take pride in ______ improvement (yes, WE take the pride). With more attention to neatness and organization (read: if she uses her locker as storage, rather than the floor around her desk), _______ will achieve excellent results.

With increased maturity (approximately eight years worth), ________ will achieve excellent results. We look forward to continued (read: new) focus and attention to her studies (academic studies, that is. Although her artwork is improving greatly throughout our classes). 

_______ needs glasses. Seriously, we're pretty sure she doesn't know where in the classroom the blackboard is located.

_______ needs Methylphenidate. No, we don't insist that all students take this. But you told us that your pediatrician and school psychologist recommended it. So remind us again why it's not in your child's best interest?

With increased focus on schoolwork (oh, and less child-rearing responsibilities of her siblings) _______ will achieve excellent results. We take note in her eagerness to please and look forward to teaching her in the coming semester (unless, of course, she simply won't have the time).

_______ has achieved excellent results this year. We are proud of her positive attitude and dedication to her studies. We'd like to clone 78 copies of her for next year. We thank you in advance. Go genetics.

To be fair, I probably use the last comment the most ;) Or something very similar. 

I love what I do and I do what I love. My younger siblings can attest to the fact that I was teaching them and grading their pretend tests from as soon as they could write (I'm still waiting for a redo of that spelling test, Mushkie.) I have a large group of wonderful students and although there are down days, overall this year is shaping out to be a good one.

Report cards, however, put dark lenses on my glasses. And so that's how come you see grumpiness right here.