Las calificaciones.

What really matters? Good grades? The learning? Can you have both?

Physicist Albert Einstein said ” we are all geniuses, but if you judge a fish for its ability to climb a tree, it will grow up thinking it is a fool .” The educational systems in which our children are are extremely deficient, and I say nothing more as critical if not with the reason given by my experience with each of my children.

Last week, Monkey1 brought home its first report card. His grades in reading and writing are not excellent if not “average.” In mathematics he was excellent and in science more or less. As a mom obviously I want my son to be number one at all, but I still have fresh my college years and I’m realistic, so I do not expect 100 at all. What I would like is for the teacher to explain to me better what is falling and how I can help improve that “C” in reading.

Monkey1 is a child who enjoys reading, at night we read not only Boy or I, but he reads to his brothers. From an early age he has shown an interest in books and for him reading more than a duty is a pleasure. Last week for her birthday, Aunt Pollo sent her a “fat” and incredible book and he was happy. This background is just to make it clear that reading in this house is a serious thing, so I am surprised by the “C”.

In the United States an A equals 90-100, a B 80-89, a C 70-79, a D 60-69 and from there down is already all red. The C is the “normal average”, but years ago I read that George W. Bush was a student of C and from there I chase this ghost.

The best gift is the one that opens the mind.

The best gift is the one that opens the mind.

Creo que Monkey1 lee bien y aunque no lo hace a una súper velocidad si entiende todo lo que va leyendo. Es leer, comprender, reír y seguir leyendo. Pregunté si esa C era una C+ o una C- , digo no es lo mismo un 79 que un 70, y la profesora me quiso dar paz diciendo que una C era “promedio normal”. No es que yo tenga un problema con la normalidad de la C, pero si es preocupante para mí como están calificando a Monkey1 (y a todos los niños), y además como esa normalidad lo pone por detrás en el promedio que tarde o temprano le ayudara a entrar a la secundaria y luego a la Universidad.

You may find it ahead of time, but every year standardized tests grade and label children in a bad way. There are many kids like Monkey1 who read and understand perfect for their level but nevertheless in front of a classroom they do it more slowly or that in front of a test they do not yield equal.

Last year Monkey1 had an amazing teacher, his delivery to each student was admired and also gave the time to answer questions almost daily via email. Each time one of her students slipped a little from the set margin, she communicated with the parents to fix it. Definitely his motto was to straighten the twig before it is trunk.

This year the teacher of Monkey1 is super enthusiastic and so far each question has been answered, however its position before what is average or not, I do not seem the best. Of course, with everything and everything I find it difficult to put myself in his shoes because he has many students and here in Chicago the thing for teachers is quite complicated.

In  “Look at me and do not touch me”  tells you about an individualized plan. The joke of this plan is neither labeling nor making things easy for the student. The individualized plan is a guide for him, for me and his teachers. His plan stipulates a different understanding for him, that’s all.

He spoke to another mother in another country who also has a second grade child. Your child is excellent at reading and math. Do you mean it’s less batteries? No, it just means that math is not your thing. On my own, I was always terrible at math and my grades during primary and secondary “normal-average pulling down by discipline”. When I entered college, things took a turn, but at last I was studying something that I liked and was interested in. From “average” to “excellent” and even the US honors list, does not mean that I became intelligent, only that my approach was different.

I come from a traditional religious school system and my husband comes from a Montessori. We both put into practice the good of both systems and present our children with several options before they decide what they like or do not like.

Hopefully, as parents we focused more on learning and not on a qualification and hopefully that qualification was not so competitive and “important” for the future of our children. Not that we will conform, because   there is ALWAYS room for improvement, but we will not judge only by a rating that in the long term reflects a specific moment and not what they know.

I do not know if I do good or bad, not to get angry with a C. It is not conformism if not understanding that what Monkey1 knows or is not independent of a globalized qualification. Meanwhile and while our education is falling, it remains in our hands (more than before), remember and put into practice that education begins at home.

Let’s continue reading and keep asking. Our children learn from us and us from them.