The other day when I came home from school my daughter requested a signature on her math test. You see, I had been working with her a lot on her math this year, and so when it comes to math she asks her dad. She had scored a lot of 88% or higher, but this one test stuck out; it was in the 60’s. How was I to react? I looked over that four page test, and though she did great on three pages, she hadn’t done well on one page. Upon closer inspection I realized that she actually knew the concepts, but I didn’t particularly like how the one page was graded by the teacher; you see my daughter received a 30% when I knew that she showed that she understood it, but made a few mistakes. I so wanted to call up the teacher and ask the teacher to reassess that page, but I didn’t because I recognized that in the great scheme of things it doesn’t matter. My daughter is not defined by one poor test.
This week report cards and map test results go home. Reports are one way to communicate how each child is doing at school. Wouldn’t it be great if students received all 100% or Advanced, and level 4 for every subject area and criterias, but then we wouldn’t be telling the truth, would we (assuming that no one has received a perfect report card)? Or wouldn’t it be great (as a teacher) if we didn’t have to give out any marks, and just encourage students to do excellent work, but that is not how our current education system is set up.
In Max Lucado’s book, “You Are Special”, the main character Punchinello was living life in his town trying to receive stars for doing well, rather than dots for not being particularly talented at anything. He just didn’t feel good about receiving all the dots that he received, and pretty much stayed home to prevent himself from receiving any more dots. That changed when he noticed that someone didn’t have any stars or dots and wanted to be like her, a character named Lucia. She pointed him in the direction of his Maker who said, “You are special because I made you. And I don’t make mistakes.”
That is exactly how it is with our children. We value them for who they are, created by God, and not for what they have done academic wise. As teachers we strive to have all our students do well, and to reach all students where they are at, but at the end of the day we remember that students like ourselves are God’s created beings. In fact, we are loved by God unconditionally, and so valued that he sent Jesus into the world. Praise God that he values all His children! Have a great March Break!