Education: Report card comments – the ink never fades

Published: February 21, 2013

AMRITA SAHOTA
VANCOUVER DESI

It’s that time of year for teachers: a time known as Term 2, when students receive a summative assessment of their learning.

Around this time, I like to read through my old report cards from elementary school.¬† The¬†vintage report card¬†has changed over the years.¬†¬†The ones I got when I was¬†growing up were¬†crispy and¬†type-written pages, folded¬†into a book.¬† And on the¬†faded blue cover, an image of a boy looking through a projector.¬† The “old book” smell is still there and it¬†sends me back to childhood, to a time when I¬†once felt anxious¬†tingles in my stomach while waiting for my parents to read what my teacher had to say about me.

The other night I had a realization when I re-read my own Kindergarten teacher’s comments.¬† Mrs.¬† “K” was a lovely first year teacher.¬† She always wore high heels and flowing dresses to school.¬† I admired her.¬† In my very first report card, she wrote the following, “Your child is outgoing and friendly, but her attention span is short and she is¬†easily distracted.”¬†¬†

So, Mrs.¬† “K” thought that I was distracted ‚ÄĒ¬†no big deal.¬†¬†Most kids get¬†distracted;¬†that’s what they do.¬† As teachers we¬†look for patterns and themes.¬† So naturally, I skipped¬†her “filler” sentences, and dove right into the Term 2 comments.¬† Where I knew I’d find the goods.¬† And there it was, a cleverly crafted,¬†telling sentence. “Your child’s attention span must be lengthened if she plans to experience success.”¬†

Great!¬† Now, Mrs. “K” is essentially saying the exact same thing, but she’s rewording it!¬† Instead of¬†focusing on what¬†was not enough, she was¬†telling my parents what needed to happen.¬† Obviously, she was on to something!¬†

Reading my old report cards gives me¬†perspective, putting me in the shoes of¬†my own¬†students, so that¬†I can empathize with them while I’m writing their comments.¬† It¬†also helps me remember that¬†ink does not fade.¬† My teacher’s¬†comments were permanent and mine will be, too.¬† So I need to think about what I’m going to say and how I’m going to word it.

I believe it’s about striking a¬†balance between¬†describing a student’s abilities and revealing his/her potential.¬† We know the seeds are planted, it just takes time and nourishment for the¬†fruit to grow.¬† Report-card writing¬†can be¬†repetitive and, on hectic days,¬†stressful, but¬†stress should never translate onto the lines of any comment box.¬† Especially, with today’s technology, where ink can potentially last for a hundred years!

A teacher’s words have staying power, in the brain and on the page.

Amrita Sahota is an elementary school teacher.  She has worked extensively within the field of Child and Youth Care.  Currently, Amrita is working as a Teacher on Call.  She enjoys creative writing, and writing teaching stories and strategies, that she shares with other teachers on her teaching blog.  She can be emailed at sahota_a1@hotmail.com


Tags: , , , , ,





Featured

File photo: A nurse loads a syringe. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody

South Surrey clinic places public ‚Äėat risk,‚Äô says document filed in Supreme Court

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI A South Surrey clinic has ‚Äúplaced members of the public at risk‚ÄĚ by falsely claiming to be naturopathic doctors and administering…
Continue Reading »

jail sex

B.C. Supreme Court to decide if Kamloops Mountie watching women have sex in jail is a crime

THE CANADIAN PRESS KAMLOOPS, B.C. ‚ÄĒ A judge wants to hear arguments from lawyers about the legality of the charge against an RCMP corporal accused…
Continue Reading »

Rice Bucket India poverty

India’s Rice Bucket Challenge gives a ‘meaningful twist’ to ALS ice bucket challenge

VANCOUVER DESI India has created its own ‚Äúdesi‚ÄĚ version of the ALS ice bucket challenge that has swept the globe. While the original icy cold…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

File photo: A nurse loads a syringe. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody

South Surrey clinic places public ‚Äėat risk,‚Äô says document filed in Supreme Court

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI A South Surrey clinic has ‚Äúplaced members of the public at risk‚ÄĚ by falsely claiming to be naturopathic doctors and administering…
Continue Reading »

jail sex

B.C. Supreme Court to decide if Kamloops Mountie watching women have sex in jail is a crime

THE CANADIAN PRESS KAMLOOPS, B.C. ‚ÄĒ A judge wants to hear arguments from lawyers about the legality of the charge against an RCMP corporal accused…
Continue Reading »

Child pornography

Abbotsford man charged with possession and distribution of child pornography

THE CANADIAN PRESS ABBOTSFORD, B.C. ‚ÄĒ Charges of possessing and distributing child pornography and obstructing justice have been laid against a 39-year-old Abbotsford, B.C., man….
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Elephant headed god

Gallery: India prepares to welcome elephant-headed Lord Ganesha

VANCOUVER DESI Preparations for Ganesh Chaturthi, a festival marking the birth of the elephant-headed god, have taken off in India as Hindus prepare to welcome…
Continue Reading »

India-Khatav-Akola,Maharashtra

Baby born with two faces in India fighting for life (Warning: Graphic content)

VANCOUVER DESI A baby born with two faces and four eyes is fighting for her life at a hospital in western India, according to Ruptly….
Continue Reading »

PRV0826-SOCIETYEVICTED_217653098

City of Vancouver gives multicultural society the boot

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI The Vancouver Multicultural Society‚Äôs 40th anniversary celebrations have hit a major snag after the city issued the group notice of eviction…
Continue Reading »

Mystic India: The World Tour takes the PNE stage Tuesday and runs until Sept. 1. Submitted photo.

Bollywood dance group Mystic India takes stage at PNE for one week only (w/gallery)

VANCOUVER DESI Internationally acclaimed Bollywood dance troupe Mystic India will be transporting Vancouver audiences overseas as it takes the PNE stage for one week only….
Continue Reading »

cen main.jpg

Woman in India survives hour-long battle with leopard, armed only with small agricultural tool

CEN NEWS A 54-year-old woman has astonished wildlife experts in India after she survived a terrifying hour-long battle with a hungry leopard. Widow Kamla Devi…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

hot photos desi actress bollywood sex

Gallery: Deepika Padukone photo shoot

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood beauty Deepika Padukone, who is creating a lot of buzz with her upcoming film Finding Fanny, poses for the camera. Related Stories:…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood desi boobs sex

Bollywood’s bold babe Sherlyn Chopra strips for Playboy

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood actress Sherlyn Chopra marks the first-ever Indian model to pose for Playboy magazine, according to eonline.com. While the 30-year-old announced she‚Äôd be…
Continue Reading »

Imam Siddique

Imam Siddique excited about Bollywood debut

IANS Mumbai – Imam Siddique, best remembered for his appearance in reality show “Bigg Boss 6″, is making his Bollywood debut with a film titled…
Continue Reading »