When School Reports Need A Kick


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For a short while during her mid-teens, my daughter was becoming increasingly anxious at school and especially as she did well in class and with homework but tended to blank out during exams.

It's awful for any parent to witness anxiety in a child (or teenager in this case) because it can so often be an 'enclosed' almost introspective process for the kid and teachers are not always equipped with the skills to deal with it effectively.

The report my daughter brought home had a parent's comment section that you simply comment in and return to the school for their files. Nowhere did the report mention her anxiety in any detail, just a loose reference of how she was 'a great pupil with great marks but "exams seem to phase her sometimes". Loosely translated that means 'we haven't got time to go into this but we're sure it will burn itself out after a while.'

So in my comment back to the teacher I wrote a gentle hint at how my daughter and the school might want to view the situation:

'My daughter, I am sure, is as conscientious at school as she is at home. Her report is heart warming to say the least, but we think she really does need to accept that, exams are not these huge mountainous obstacle that she thinks she is walking up backwards.. they're really just gentle slopes that stand before the hills of progress."

We must have read it back to her fifty times over the coming year ;o) and in some ways it helped to re-steer her fear to become something just as powerful but positive.

She did exceptionally well at 18 in arts, drama, and English and is now quite a good web/multimedia designer. So I guess if you don't want your kid to be an advertising executive or a banker or maybe even a lawyer... write something nice and meaningful in their school report!

a recollection to be shared

by Rev. Lynch

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  • 2 weeks later...

lucky girl to have such insightful and pro-active parents, and lucky teachers for getting that input -

there is nothing better than communication and solidarity between home and school

you know, I'm not sure if my daughter is actually brilliant or if we convinced her she was - without arrogance or

rose colored glasses - what I know is that I always had her back if she was wronged, or her butt if she did wrong

parents need to look to themselves when things go wrong with their child's education (as you did)

continued success to your daughter and kudos to you

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