Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The posting of the grades

I don't post my kids' grades on Facebook.
I don't respond to people who post their kids' grades on Facebook, although I think I click "like."
Nah, nevermind.  I don't.
But I do like it that kids work hard and get good grades.
The parents who post are proud of their kids, and I don't want to take that away from them.
That's why I post my misgivings here and not bust all up in someone's parade.

I just think grades are a really sucky measure of anything.
I'm not sure they tell us what we think they tell us.
They might tell us more about a kid's organizational skills than anything about a kid's ability or knowledge.
I don't think they tell us about a kid's motivation.
(I say this as a person with a child who is pretty unmotivated and not really goal-oriented, at least in my opinion.  You wouldn't know this from the grades, though.  The grades would suggest there is much going on in the way of motivation and goal-setting.)

So grades can make it seem like someone who doesn't have to work very hard works hard.
Or they can make it seem like someone who busts their ass doesn't work very hard.
Or they can make someone who is really bright but woefully disorganized look dumb.
Or they can make someone who isn't really bright but just well organized look smart.
Or they can make someone who fell through the cracks look like they don't care when they really do.

My children's grades tell me very little.
I learn more about my kids from reading their writing, from going in the classroom, working with other kids and seeing how they act and what they know.
I learn from listening to my kids read to me.
I learn from seeing how they handle their homework (or not handle their homework).
I learn from what the teachers say juxtaposed with what I see and know about my kid.  The teachers see the "on" version of my kids, for which I'm thankful.  I see the "off" version, so I have to mix these versions together to get a sense of my real child.

I'm never sure what to make when I see all the grade postings.
It just confuses me, mostly.
Like sports.
I don't get the hype.  

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