Sometimes I wonder whether I’m the only one left who cares

We had Pearl’s Parent-Teacher-Child conference this afternoon.  The way our school conducts these is that the child presents their work to the parents, supported by the teacher.  We see examples of her work, along with her own assessments – what she’s proud of, and where she thinks she could do better – as well as the teacher’s assessment of where she fits in relation to the new national standards.

Pearl seems to be doing very well.  There is information that is not presented that I like to have, so I have to ask the teacher for it explicitly, but I can do that so it’s no big issue.

I struggle a bit with the “portfolio” concept of assessment.  I feel like an old fogey for being  faintly skeptical of the usefulness of mind-maps and coloured hats when learning to read and add.  And I feel like a complete dinosaur when I notice that the teacher has suggested she use more “adjectives, metaphors and smilies” in her writing.  (Emoticons?  Really?)  But it all adds up when I see that the spelling homework – from another teacher – is “not compulsary”.

The main thing is, Pearl is doing well.  Not just academically, but socially too – and that is where her current challenge lies, I think.  Her school report is about her, not about my quibbles with our education system.  And we can always work on spelling at home.

4 Responses to “Sometimes I wonder whether I’m the only one left who cares”

  1. leechbabe Says:

    I wonder about the spelling thing too. Annie’s school teacher was all ‘she needs to just enjoy the writing process’ which is cool but Annie is such a perfectionist she can not enjoy the writing process without knowing that her spelling is correct.

    Yay for dictionaries.

    • upsidebackwards Says:

      Yes, Pearl loves her dictionary too! I don’t mind children’s spelling mistakes so much, it’s the teachers’ ones that bother me! And last year Pearl had used the conditional subjunctive in a piece of writing (“if there were no sun, there would be no life on Earth”), but her teacher “corrected” it to “if there was…”. That sort of thing drives me wild! I have to be careful not to drive Pearl wild along with me though.

  2. Emma Says:

    I was told by a psychologist assessing my son when he was in the third grade that schools were no longer worrying about spelling as, in this computer age, they now have spellcheck! I said since most of our operating systems are American their projects would still be full of spelling mistakes. I was pretty appalled to go into a high school open house a few weeks ago and see spelling mistakes during their slide show. Needless to say, my daughter is not going to that high school!

    Found you on twitter by the way…

    • upsidebackwards Says:

      Thanks for stopping by! Ah yes, and who writes the spellcheck program, hmm? And what if you use the wrong word – their/there/they’re, for example? And what about hand-written notes? (I know, they barely teach handwriting, either).
      I’m preaching to the choir, I suspect, but I think the English language is beautiful and deserves respect. And our children should be taught to appreciate it and use it properly.
      In Canada you probably have even more problems with creeping Americanisation of the dictionary than we do!

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