The only grades I have to worry about these days are my kiddies'.
But all that changed the day the kiddies returned to school just two weeks ago.
Hope's math / homeroom teacher, in an effort to get parents more involved in their child's schoolwork, informed us all, long before the kiddies got out for Christmas Vacation, that we (the parents) would also be getting graded.
At first, my reaction was "What the heck? They can't do that! Just how in the heck are they going to grade us? They can't tell me how to raise my child! Mira que tiene cosa...."
But then I got the report cards we have to fill out every two weeks. After reading through them, it became clear to me exactly what the teacher hopes to accomplish. She just wants all of the parents to take an active role in their child's schoolwork and education, which when you think about it, is a fabulous idea. And it's not the teacher or the school that will be doing the grading. We, the parents, will be the ones grading ourselves on the following points:
- Check my child's homework and math notebook.
- Dedicate 5 to 10 minutes per day going over multiplication tables with my child. Or provide some other way for him/her to study them.
- Manage my child's time outside of school.
- Assign chores that will help my child learn and appreciate the value of responsibility.
- Make sure that my child spent part of his free-time in activities that will help improve his/her reasoning skills (reading, putting together puzzles, playing video games for no more than one hour, watching educational programs on TV, etc)
Pretty easy stuff, right? If we follow through on every one of these points for the 2-week period (that's 10 school days), we score 2 points for each activity. If we only did them for 7 to 9 days, we score 1.5 points per activity. 4 to 6 days scores 1 point per activity. And 0 to 3 days scores 0.5 points.
I turned in my report card this morning and scored a 9.0. Not bad, if I do say so myself. I could have cheated and given myself a 10, but there were days that I forgot to check Hope's notebook or run through her multiplication tables. I know she knows them!
A here lies my biggest problem with this new system. What's to say that some of the parents aren't going to cheat and give themselves a 10? I know I shouldn't worry about this, not that I really am, it's just something my gringa brain thinks about. Will the teacher know who's cheating and who's not? Will she care? And what message does it send to the kiddies if their parents cheat?
Last week, we (all of the parents) had a meeting with Hope's math/homeroom teacher to pick up our child's 2nd bimestre report cards. At the end of the hour-long meeting the teacher reminded us about the homework she assigned to us parents. Half of the moms and the only dad in the room had no idea what the teacher was talking about! The teacher of course, was shocked and a little mad. Which led her to question those parents, "Don't you talk to your kids? Do you ask your child about school? Did you come to our last meeting? Do you even pay attention to what I say in these meetings?"
Once again the teacher clearly explained our daily assignments, and how we are to fill out our report cards at the end of the 2-week period. She then pointed to the parents who had forgotten about the assignments saying, "None of you should have higher than a 5, since you've already skipped the first week!"
Well, this morning when Hubby and I went to turn in our report card, we saw a couple of parents, standing in front of the school, frantically filling out their report cards at the very last minute. Almost everyone gave themselves a straight 10, except for one mom who checked all of the boxes giving herself a much higher score.
Allá ellos. To each his own.
Despite the flaws in the grading system, I think this is a great idea. Parents taking an active role in their child's education is a very good thing, as is having a teacher who cares about their education and the parents involvement. I already know what it feels like when the person that should care about education doesn't. I hope more teachers adopt this unique way of getting parents involved. It really does take a village to raise a child.
I just wish something could be done about the grading system. ;)
Stepping off my soapbox now.