Wednesday, February 18, 2009

If you can read this, Thank a teacher..............

For those of you who are parents, I'm sure you've seen the test score results come home for your child every quarter. For those of you who pay attention, you know they are scored in math and reading on a scale of 0% to 100%. If your child scores 0%, you know he/she is performing at a level that's way below what is expected. He/she would basically have to not answer the questions to get this low score. From there the scale reads like this: 1%-49%-student shows a minimal understanding of skills assessed, 50%-69%-student shows a general understanding, 70%-89%-student shows developing understanding of skills, and 90%-100%-student shows an overall understanding of skills.

This quarter's assessments for my son bothered me. My son is 9 years old, and what I consider a child who can understand beyond his age. I'm not the type of parent who brags on their child or who considers their child to be the best at everything, but I do recognize that his level of understanding is a little advanced. Here's the problem. For this quarter, he scored at a level that surprised me and his teachers. He was placed in Accelerated Math, and scored in the 70% range. That is expected because he's being challenged more in this area, so it's taking more effort for him to get the answers. In reading he scored in the 50% range, that surprised me more than anything. My son has been reading since before he entered kindergarten. He's also been talking and expressing himself since the age of 4. This is the first time that he's ever scored like this on the assessment tests.

Being the type of parent that I am, I immediately contacted his teacher. This year his teacher impressed me because during our first conference, he pointed out things about my son that no other teacher has. He knew my son, good and bad, and was very open about what he thought and what he saw as far as my son's abilities. We came up with a plan to help my son succeed, and vowed to work together to make sure he doesn't fail.

I say all of this to say, that given the bad rap teachers get these days, there are some out here who really do see the kids they teach as individuals and are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that the kids don't fail. Hopefully, the plan that we've come up with will help my son work to his potential, and maybe next quarters scores will be much better. I have to put in a lot of work also, but I think in the end it will be well worth it.

If you have children in school and are being taught by great teachers, Thank them. I think teaching is the most under appreciated, most difficult job. So, to all my former teachers, I say Thank you. To all my son's former teachers and teachers to come, I say Thank you. I look forward to working with you all to raise up an educated man, our future generation.

Sweet T

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