My boy is asleep beside me. He’s been sick today. Sometimes, I worry more about him when he is sick because it happens so rarely and he is always so full of energy. It is hard to watch him choose to sit idle on the couch, white and blank. Here is praying that it will pass quickly and he will be back to himself before long.
Report cards came home today - Ella’s first report card. I suppose in theory, every report that a therapist writes, or assessment that is done or development plan that comes home, is essentially a report card, but this is the first report card for which Ella is measured against her peers. Someone from the school board might correct me and say that it is not against her peers but against the learning outcomes set by the school board. Either way, there is bar – does Ella measure up? I almost cried reading it. Doesn’t that sound ridiculous?
To be honest, some of it doesn’t even make sense to me. They say that any areas that are addressed in her Individual Education Plan (set out in a meeting with teachers, SSA’s and a bunch of other people) are then assessed according to the student’s level of success with the support of adaptations…something about making expectations more fair…and then there are the asterisks.
I suppose one reason that this report card takes more emotional processing for me than others however, is because it is the first time in Ella’s whole life that she is being assessed in the same format as her brother…her freak of nature brother, who fully meets or exceeds all expectations (for which we are very proud and yet recognize he has had a whole year of the British education system to give him a leg up).
The same boxes apply – Approaching expectations, Meeting Expectations, and Exceeds expectations (although this year, I noticed Jakob’s report card has more categories including the “fully meets” in addition to simply “meets”. And whereas Jakob’s card is weighted to the right, Ella’s is weighted to the left. To be clear, this is not what made me want to cry. I think I just want to cry because I am tired, and feverish and was up from 3am with a sick boy and a little girl that decided it was time to get up…at 4am.
But at any rate, people will often as me “how it is going?” referring to Ella. I am never really sure what to say but I always respond with “Good. She is doing great! She knows all her sounds and is learning a tonne of French vocabulary.” Blah blah blah. That is what I know anyway or maybe that is what is important to me? But what does her report card say? What do they think?
Well, of course there is the italicized disclaimer at the end of half the lines that says, with SSA support. But disclaimer aside, the objective point of view says that Ella is meeting expectations in the areas of learning letter sounds, listening to the person speaking, music (she better!) and in the areas of expressing feelings and making friends and being a good friend. It would seem the areas she struggles in are Math and Science.
It makes sense really, as we have focused much more on vocabulary since October than on counting or patterns. Then there are the comments, which include nothing that I didn’t already know. It starts out, Ella is a considerate and kind hearted member of our class. They love her. They all love her. And I love that. Sure we have stuff to work on academically, but so far, I would still say, French Immersion was the best choice we could have made for Ella, if for no other reason than her team of cheerleaders that encourage her, push her, support her and love her every day.