Years later, back at the school as Director (2007) it became clear that more communication was required, especially for working parents. However, I was reluctant to start report cards for a number of reasons. First, I didn’t want to take the time away from teaching/loving/guiding in order to document progress. Secondly, where a child scores on Monday could be very different by Friday, so by the time a parent received the report card, so many things could have changed. Not to mention the fact that children develop in very different ways at this age, so to put checkmarks in boxes seemed unfair.
But here we are – all preschools are issuing report cards and the Ministry requires that we document progress. Parents are now kept apprised of their child's social, intellectual and physical development on paper. May I offer some suggestions for interpretation?
- Keep in mind that your child’s teachers consider the documentation process, including report cards, as tools in planning lessons for their students at each level of their education. As such, they are not so much an evaluation as a road map.
- The checkmarks may give you an indication of where your child’s skills are just now, but this may change by tomorrow!
- We have enriched goals for your children, so they may not have achieved them by February – be patient as many skills are still emerging at this time of year.
- Do not hesitate for an instant to contact the school regarding ANY questions you may have. I cannot emphasize this enough. Your teachers are ready and willing to talk to you at any time so take advantage of that.
- The extent of effort and engagement in the learning process has a big impact on later learning, so pay more attention to the personal comments, particularly those reflecting effort. This is the most important quality that you can encourage with your child. If effort is up there, how wonderful is that? If it is not, what a great goal!
I hope you all enjoy a wonderful March break when it happens….Leslie