Monday, October 24, 2005

Attitude Adjustment

Here's something that takes getting used to as a parent: report cards, progress reports, and for the most part teachers at conferences, never say "Wow! Your child is really smart,"* even if it's true. Because, of course, although it helps to be smart in school (most of the time--Some of the time--) teachers are not reporting on your ability, but on your effort and achievement. S.'s progress report was great, and the comments section read "S. has excellent work habits. She is capable and attentive, as well as friendly and kind to all of her classmates." The principal wrote, "We can't ask for more!" which is great, and I agree (especially the friendly and kind to all part), but the tigress deep inside me can't help screaming, "Capable and attentive? How about creative, insightful, and generally brilliant?"

There's the rub. I'm 35 years old and I can't get used to this idea, that we get credit for what we actually do, not what we could do. I really need to work on that.

*And when the teachers do briefly comment, in person, about how intelligent a child is, there's always a qualifier: "He's very bright, of course, but he's going to have to learn that..."

No comments: